equiv·​a·​lence i-ˈkwi-və-lən(t)s How to pronounce equivalence (audio)
: the state or property of being equivalent
: 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
: a presentation of terms as equivalent
: equality in metrical value of a regular foot and one in which there are substitutions

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 Trump has sought to link his circumstances to Biden's by trying to draw an equivalence between their conduct and calling his prosecution the result of a justice system improperly targeting Republicans. Mike Levine, ABC News, 7 Feb. 2024 In order to bring Trump down to the level of Clinton and Biden, the press is busy pushing these and other false narratives of equivalence. For Carroll County Times, Baltimore Sun, 14 Jan. 2024 That point is implied in his calculation of the equivalence of the fine Augustus supposedly imposed on Pollio for his cruelty. Iain Murray, National Review, 16 Dec. 2023 The swaps have raised concerns that the U.S. is incentivizing hostage-taking abroad and producing a false equivalence between Americans who are wrongfully detained abroad and foreigners who have been properly prosecuted and convicted in U.S courts. Joshua Goodman, arkansasonline.com, 21 Dec. 2023 The argument of whether a team is the ‘most deserving OR best’ is a false equivalence. J. Brady McCollough, Los Angeles Times, 3 Dec. 2023 Such an anomaly would throw the weak equivalence principle—and, by extension, general relativity as a whole—into doubt. Rahul Rao, Popular Science, 27 Sep. 2023 Already Israel’s response has been subject to the same cries of moral equivalence, the same demands for a premature cease-fire, the same perversion of international law from its post-Holocaust purpose. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 27 Oct. 2023 Media of all types have been spreading propaganda meant to craft a false equivalence between the State of Israel and the terrorists who run Gaza. Mike Coté, National Review, 26 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'equivalence.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1541, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of equivalence was circa 1541

Dictionary Entries Near equivalence

Cite this Entry

“Equivalence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/equivalence. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


equiv·​a·​lence i-ˈkwiv(-ə)-lən(t)s How to pronounce equivalence (audio)
: the quality or state of being equivalent

Medical Definition


equiv·​a·​lence i-ˈkwiv(-ə)-lən(t)s How to pronounce equivalence (audio)
: the state or property of being equivalent

More from Merriam-Webster on equivalence

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