equilibrium

noun
equi·​lib·​ri·​um | \ ˌē-kwə-ˈli-brē-əm How to pronounce equilibrium (audio) , ˌe-\
plural equilibriums or equilibria\ ˌē-​kwə-​ˈli-​brē-​ə How to pronounce equilibria (audio) , ˌe-​ \

Definition of equilibrium

1a : a state of intellectual or emotional balance : poise trying to recover his equilibrium
b : a state of adjustment between opposing or divergent influences or elements
2 : a state of balance between opposing forces or actions that is either static (as in a body acted on by forces whose resultant is zero) or dynamic (as in a reversible chemical reaction when the rates of reaction in both directions are equal)

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Did You Know?

Equilibrium contains a root from the Latin libra, meaning "weight" or "balance". As a constellation, zodiac symbol, and astrological sign, Libra is usually pictured as a set of balance scales, often held by the blindfolded goddess of justice, which symbolizes fairness, equality, and justice. Equilibrium has special meanings in biology, chemistry, physics, and economics, but in all of them it refers to the balance of competing influences.

Examples of equilibrium in a Sentence

Supply and demand were in equilibrium. we must find an equilibrium between commercial development and conservation of our natural treasures

Recent Examples on the Web

The oversupply in 2020 comes as OPEC and its allies attempt to bring about equilibrium in the market. Matt Egan, CNN, "The Texas oil boom is messing with OPEC's plans to keep prices high," 11 July 2019 What happened over the last month as seven All-Stars switched teams and restored a sense of competitive balance to the league was a return to equilibrium several years in the making. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "The End of the NBA’s Endless Summer," 10 July 2019 Screens are also an effective way to bring equilibrium to a room in which one design element is overshadowing everything else. Michelle Brunner, Washington Post, "Decorative room dividers make an elegant comeback," 11 June 2019 Durant’s return restored Golden State’s offensive equilibrium, igniting one of the greatest offenses in league history. Michael Shapiro, SI.com, "Can the Splash Brothers Pull Off One More Oracle Classic?," 13 June 2019 To achieve such parking equilibrium, the company plans to re-stripe its main parking lot, doing away with a dozen jumbo spots that are currently 13 feet wide and cutting some 10-foot-wide spots down to nine feet across. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Vista Costco will move gas station to handle crush of cars," 10 June 2019 In turn, the bees maintain nature’s delicate equilibrium. Nina Strochlic, National Geographic, "An unlikely feud between beekeepers and Mennonites simmers in Mexico," 12 Apr. 2019 Libra — Storm With a fixation on creating equilibrium around them, Libras have all too much in common with the X-Men team member Storm, whose ability to control the weather is without limits. Marilyn La Jeunesse, Teen Vogue, "Which Superhero You Are According to Your Zodiac Sign," 26 Apr. 2019 There are two main suspects for this slow-growth equilibrium: demographics and productivity. Greg Ip, WSJ, "The Global Boom, Barely Begun, May Be Over," 23 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'equilibrium.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of equilibrium

1608, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for equilibrium

Latin aequilibrium, from aequilibris being in equilibrium, from aequi- + libra weight, balance

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Statistics for equilibrium

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for equilibrium

The first known use of equilibrium was in 1608

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More Definitions for equilibrium

equilibrium

noun

English Language Learners Definition of equilibrium

: a state in which opposing forces or actions are balanced so that one is not stronger or greater than the other
: a state of emotional balance or calmness

equilibrium

noun
equi·​lib·​ri·​um | \ ˌē-kwə-ˈli-brē-əm How to pronounce equilibrium (audio) , ˌe-kwə-\

Kids Definition of equilibrium

1 : a state of balance between opposing forces or actions
2 : the normal balanced state of the body that is maintained by the inner ear and that keeps a person or animal from falling

equilibrium

noun
equi·​lib·​ri·​um | \ ˌē-kwə-ˈlib-rē-əm How to pronounce equilibrium (audio) , ˌek-wə- How to pronounce equilibrium (audio) \
plural equilibriums or equilibria\ -​rē-​ə How to pronounce equilibria (audio) \

Medical Definition of equilibrium

1 : a state of balance between opposing forces or actions that is either static (as in a body acted on by forces whose resultant is zero) or dynamic (as in a reversible chemical reaction when the velocities in both directions are equal)
2 : a state of intellectual or emotional balance

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Comments on equilibrium

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appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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