equivalent

adjective
equiv·​a·​lent | \i-ˈkwiv-lənt, -ˈkwi-və-\

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

2a : 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

6a : 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

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Other Words from equivalent

equivalent noun
equivalently adverb

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

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.

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
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Recent Examples on the Web

Bogatin came to that meeting prepared to spend $6 million, which is equivalent to about $15 million today. Sean Illing, Vox, "Trump’s ties to the Russian mafia go back 3 decades," 8 Dec. 2018 And following China’s incredible economic growth, its per capita emissions are now equivalent to Europe’s. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Wrong way: 2018 global CO₂ emissions tick up again," 6 Dec. 2018 And going 18 hours without sleep is equivalent to having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent (which is legally impaired) and puts you at equal risk for a crash. Yvette D'entremont, SELF, "I'm a Scientist With Insomnia So I Researched How to Actually Get Better Sleep," 28 Nov. 2018 The largest of those incentives, the EDGE credits, would have been equivalent to 50 percent of employee income tax withholdings, the Tribune reported. Gaby Del Valle, Vox, "Amazon HQ2 likely to be split between Crystal City, VA, and Long Island City, NY," 6 Nov. 2018 The cost is equivalent to two treatments of Kybella but most patients need more than two treatments of Kybella to be satisfied. Michelle Gant, Fox News, "'Selfie awareness' has millennials turning to double chin removal procedures," 21 Sep. 2018 By contrast, the Vix’s bond equivalent, the Merrill Lynch Move Index, was trending ever lower before its recent spike. Jon Sindreu, WSJ, "Market Boogeyman May Come for Bonds, Not Stocks," 5 Nov. 2018 In addition, for every item of gear purchased, its equivalent is given away to someone in need. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "Thank You For Your Service. Now What?," 17 Oct. 2018 The two performed about equally well, with maybe a slight advantage to the cost-equivalent cash program; a much bigger cash program had really outstanding impacts. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Giving out cash is a great way to fight poverty. This approach might be even better.," 15 Oct. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of equivalent

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for 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

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Last Updated

15 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for equivalent

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

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More Definitions for equivalent

equivalent

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of equivalent

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

equivalent

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

Kids Definition of equivalent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: alike or equal in number, value, or meaning

equivalent

noun

Kids Definition of equivalent (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

equivalent

adjective
equiv·​a·​lent | \-lənt \

Medical Definition of equivalent 

(Entry 1 of 2)

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

noun

Medical Definition of equivalent (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : 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

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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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