equivalent

adjective equiv·a·lent \ i-ˈkwiv-lənt , -ˈkwi-və- \
Updated on: 14 Nov 2017

Definition of equivalent

1 : equal in force, amount, or value; also : equal in area or volume but not superposable
  • a square equivalent to a triangle
2 a : like in signification or import
b : having logical equivalence
  • equivalent statements
3 : corresponding or virtually identical especially in effect or function
4 obsolete : equal in might or authority
5 : having the same chemical combining capacity
  • equivalent quantities of two elements
6 a : having the same solution set
  • equivalent equations
b : capable of being placed in one-to-one correspondence
  • equivalent sets
c : related by an equivalence relation

equivalent

noun

equivalently

adverb

Examples of equivalent in a Sentence

  1. Those less-known companies manufacture equivalent products at cheaper prices.

  2. I haven't taken English 202, but I took an equivalent course at another university.

  3. an equivalent amount of money

Recent Examples of equivalent from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Modern democracies have institutions and offices that are roughly equivalent to those found in others: the president of the United States has his British equivalent in the prime minister, for instance, and the U.S. Congress finds its equivalent in the British Parliament. The heavily armored knight on his great armored horse has been called the Middle Ages' equivalent of the army tank. In none of these examples are the two things identical to each other; they're simply very similar in their effect or purpose or nature, which is what equivalence usually implies.

Origin and Etymology of equivalent

Middle English, from Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French, from Late Latin aequivalent-, aequivalens, present participle of aequivalēre to have equal power, from Latin aequi- + valēre to be strong — more at wield

Synonym Discussion of equivalent

same, selfsame, very, identical, equivalent, equal mean not different or not differing from one another. same may imply and selfsame always implies that the things under consideration are one thing and not two or more things.
    • took the same route
    • derived from the selfsame source
very, like selfsame, may imply identity, or, like same may imply likeness in kind.
    • the very point I was trying to make
identical may imply selfsameness or suggest absolute agreement in all details.
    • identical results
equivalent implies amounting to the same thing in worth or significance.
    • two houses equivalent in market value
equal implies being identical in value, magnitude, or some specified quality.
    • equal shares in the business

Other Mathematics and Statistics Terms


EQUIVALENT Defined for English Language Learners

equivalent

adjective

Definition of equivalent for English Language Learners

  • : having the same value, use, meaning, etc.


EQUIVALENT Defined for Kids

1

equivalent

adjective equiv·a·lent \ i-ˈkwi-və-lənt \

Definition of equivalent for Students

: alike or equal in number, value, or meaning

2

equivalent

noun

Definition of equivalent for Students

: something like or equal to something else in number, value, or meaning
  • “And I figure that dog is the equivalent of a person and a half.”
  • —Judy Blume, Sheila the Great

Medical Dictionary

1

equivalent

adjective equiv·a·lent \ -lənt \

medical Definition of equivalent

1 : corresponding or virtually identical especially in effect or function
  • drugs that are therapeutically equivalent
2 : having the same chemical combining capacity
  • equivalent quantities of two elements

2

equivalent

noun

medical Definition of equivalent

1 a : the relative weight of an element that has the same combining capacity as a given weight of another element : the atomic weight divided by the valence
b : the relative weight of a radical or compound that combines with a given weight of an element, radical, or compound; especially : the weight of a compound that reacts with one equivalent of a given chemical element
2 : a psychopathological symptom replacing the usual one in a given disorder
  • a twilight state may be an epileptic equivalent

Law Dictionary

equivalent

noun eq·uiv·a·lent

legal Definition of equivalent

: something that performs substantially the same function as another thing in substantially the same way — compare aggregation, combination, invention
Note: Under patent law, a patentee may bring a claim for infringement against the inventor of an equivalent.


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