equiv·​a·​lence | \ i-ˈkwiv-lən(t)s How to pronounce equivalence (audio) , -ˈkwi-və- \

Definition of equivalence

1a : the state or property of being equivalent
b : the relation holding between two statements if they are either both true or both false so that to affirm one and to deny the other would result in a contradiction
2 : a presentation of terms as equivalent
3 : equality in metrical value of a regular foot and one in which there are substitutions

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Examples of equivalence in a Sentence

the equivalence of the two propositions moviegoers who mistakenly believe that there is an equivalence between the personality of an actor and that of his character
Recent Examples on the Web Is its primary purpose to deter expatriation (preventing episodes like the one involving Ratcliffe), or to seek equivalence to the capital gain outcome that would have occurred if an actual sale took place the day before the person left the country? Robert Goulder, Forbes, 7 June 2021 And this faulty equivalence of truth, fear, and caution doesn’t afflict only individuals or the environment of major cities. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 3 May 2021 That’s the same as operating 120 passenger cars for a year, according to an EPA equivalence calculator. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, 27 Apr. 2021 Meirav Eilon Shahar, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, dismissed any comparison between the actions of Hamas and those of Israel as a false equivalence. New York Times, 27 May 2021 This is a false equivalence and an unproductive conversation, unlikely to help either adults or children. Ann Chahroudi, Wired, 11 May 2021 There is no equivalence, and to pretend that there is does both sides a disservice. Victoria Coates, National Review, 14 May 2021 Your own eyes looking at the signs in the windows, or some false equivalence study that an advocate cherry-picks to support her argument? Timothy Kleinpaste, Star Tribune, 18 Apr. 2021 Suggesting equivalence between the Smithsonian’s supposed intransigence and Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant bigotry is unfair. Washington Post, 16 Apr. 2021

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

circa 1541, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Learn More About equivalence

Time Traveler for equivalence

Time Traveler

The first known use of equivalence was circa 1541

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Statistics for equivalence

Last Updated

14 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Equivalence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/equivalence. Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for equivalence



English Language Learners Definition of equivalence

formal : the quality or state of being alike : the quality or state of having the same value, function, meaning, etc.


equiv·​a·​lence | \ i-ˈkwiv(-ə)-lən(t)s How to pronounce equivalence (audio) \

Medical Definition of equivalence

: the state or property of being equivalent


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