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)

Keep scrolling for more

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

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 Will somebody please buy me this enormous sleep contraction, that uses resonance to literally rearrange the magnetic fields around your body, lulling you into equilibrium? Brennan Kilbane, GQ, "All the New Tech That’s Upgrading Your Sleep Routine," 30 Mar. 2018 So as long as the moves don’t go too far, increases in inflation and interest rates would be a sign the global economy is returning to a more prosperous equilibrium like the one that prevailed before 2008. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Hensarling compromise clears a path for bank deregulation," 27 Apr. 2018 The painting’s sublime feeling of complete equilibrium derives from the precision with which Leonardo arranges the elements within the diagonal quadrants. Tom L. Freudenheim, WSJ, "A Portrait Both Sensible and Sensual," 11 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about equilibrium

Statistics for equilibrium

Last Updated

18 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for equilibrium

The first known use of equilibrium was in 1608

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on equilibrium

What made you want to look up equilibrium? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

behavior toward others

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!