equivalent

adjective

equiv·​a·​lent i-ˈkwi-və-lənt How to pronounce equivalent (audio)
-ˈkwiv-lənt
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

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.

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of equivalent in a Sentence

Those less-known companies manufacture equivalent products at cheaper prices. I haven't taken English 202, but I took an equivalent course at another university. an equivalent amount of money
Recent Examples on the Web On Reddit, investors discussed what cryptocurrency was equivalent to meme stock GameStop — and their conclusion was Dogecoin. Vinamrata Chaturvedi, Quartz, 13 May 2024 That's equivalent to about four or five cups of coffee. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, 12 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for equivalent 

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

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of equivalent was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near equivalent

Cite this Entry

“Equivalent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/equivalent. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

equivalent

1 of 2 adjective
equiv·​a·​lent
i-ˈkwiv(-ə)-lənt
1
a
: alike or equal in number, value, or meaning
equivalent statements
b
: having the same numerical value
equivalent fractions
equivalent numerals
c
: having the same solution set
y = 2 and 2y = 4 are equivalent equations
2
: having the same effect or function
equivalent methods
3
: capable of being placed in a one-to-one correspondence
equivalent sets
equivalently adverb

equivalent

2 of 2 noun
: one that is equivalent
especially : a number (as a decimal) that is equivalent to another (as a fraction)

Medical Definition

equivalent

1 of 2 adjective
equiv·​a·​lent -lənt How to pronounce equivalent (audio)
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

equivalent

2 of 2 noun
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

Legal Definition

equivalent

noun
eq·​uiv·​a·​lent
: 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.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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