equity

noun
eq·​ui·​ty | \ ˈe-kwə-tē How to pronounce equity (audio) \
plural equities

Definition of equity

1a : justice according to natural law or right specifically : freedom from bias or favoritism
b : something that is equitable
2a : the money value of a property or of an interest in a property in excess of claims or liens against it
b : the common stock of a corporation
c : a risk interest or ownership right in property
d : a right, claim, or interest existing or valid in equity
3a : a system of law originating in the English chancery and comprising a settled and formal body of legal and procedural rules and doctrines that supplement, aid, or override common and statute law and are designed to protect rights and enforce duties fixed by substantive law
b : trial or remedial justice under or by the rules and doctrines of equity
c : a body of legal doctrines and rules developed to enlarge, supplement, or override a narrow rigid system of law

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Examples of equity in a Sentence

In making these decisions we should be governed by the principle of equity. We've been slowly paying off our mortgage and building up equity in our house.
Recent Examples on the Web Scientists who study health equity acknowledged the task force’s goals will be difficult to accomplish, but welcomed the incoming administration’s ambitious focus. New York Times, "Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith Takes Aim at Racial Gaps in Health Care," 8 Jan. 2021 President Jim Clements established a task force on racial equity. Zoe Nicholson, USA TODAY, "604 unmarked graves were found at Clemson University. This professor seeks to tell their stories," 6 Jan. 2021 Los Angeles County also has one of the highest case rates at 132.7 per 100,000, according to state metrics, with a positive test rate of 16.5% and health equity test positivity rate of 23.4%. Kellie Hwang, SFChronicle.com, "These charts compare the COVID surge in Southern California vs. the Bay Area," 31 Dec. 2020 The nationwide debate on policing and racial equity this summer brought that quiet cooperation into stark relief. Sidney Fussell, Wired, "How Your Digital Trails Wind Up in the Police’s Hands," 28 Dec. 2020 The town has hired a health equity coordinator, a new position meant to ensure all residents have access to quality care. Jesse Leavenworth, courant.com, "Manchester hires psychologist, a former Naval and police officer, to work toward health equity," 28 Dec. 2020 That, in turn, means return on equity could lag behind profit growth. Telis Demos, WSJ, "The Flood Gates Still Aren’t Open for Banks—Yet," 21 Dec. 2020 Similarly, the Virginia Department of Health has staff devoted to health equity across racial and ethnic groups and is putting on a series of town hall-style meetings speaking to specific communities of color. Caroline Chen, ProPublica, "Vaccinating Black Americans Is Essential. Key States Aren’t Doing the Work to Combat Hesitancy," 18 Dec. 2020 State leaders highlighted the focus on equity in this round of funding. Shannon Prather Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Minnesota housing aid will help construct, preserve 2,400 affordable homes," 17 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'equity.' 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 equity

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for equity

Middle English equite, from Anglo-French equité, from Latin aequitat-, aequitas, from aequus equal, fair

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Time Traveler for equity

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The first known use of equity was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

19 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Equity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/equity. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for equity

equity

noun
How to pronounce equity (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of equity

formal : fairness or justice in the way people are treated
: the value of a piece of property (such as a house) after any debts that remain to be paid for it (such as the amount of a mortgage) have been subtracted
: a share in a company : a share of a company's stock

equity

noun
eq·​ui·​ty | \ ˈe-kwə-tē How to pronounce equity (audio) \
plural equities

Legal Definition of equity

1a : justice according to fairness especially as distinguished from mechanical application of rules prompted by considerations of equity comity between nations, and equity require it to be paid for— F. A. Magruder
b : something that is equitable : an instance of equity the inequities produced by the system are outnumbered by the equities
2a : a system of law originating in the English chancery and comprising a settled and formal body of substantive and procedural rules and doctrines that supplement, aid, or override common and statutory law the judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this ConstitutionU.S. Constitution art. III — see also chancery — compare common law, law

Note: The courts of equity arose in England from a need to provide relief for claims that did not conform to the writ system existing in the courts of law. Originally, the courts of equity exercised great discretion in fashioning remedies. Over time, they established precedents, rules, and doctrines of their own that were distinct from those used in the courts of law. Although for a time the courts of equity rivaled the law courts in power, the law courts maintained an advantage partly as a result of forcing the equity courts to hear only those cases for which there was no adequate remedy at law. The courts of law and equity were united in England in 1873. Courts of equity also developed in the United States, but in most states and in the federal system courts of law and courts of equity have been joined. The courts apply both legal and equitable principles and offer both legal and equitable relief, although generally equitable relief is still granted when there is no adequate remedy at law.

b : the principles that developed in the courts of equity : justice in accordance with equity equity treats a devisee who procures a will by fraud as a constructive trustee— W. M. McGovern, Jr. et al. also : justice in accordance with natural law
c : a court of equity sat alone for some time in equity— O. W. Holmes, Jr.
3 : a body of doctrines and rules developed to enlarge, supplement, or override any narrow or rigid system of law
4a : a right, claim, or interest existing or valid in equity
b : the money value of a property or of an interest in property in excess of any claims or liens (as mortgage indebtedness) against it
c : a risk interest or ownership right in property specifically : the ownership interests of shareholders in a company
d : the common stock of a corporation — compare asset, debt

History and Etymology for equity

Latin aequitat- aequitas fairness, justice, from aequus equal, fair

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