equivalent

adjective
equiv·​a·​lent | \ i-ˈkwiv-lənt How to pronounce equivalent (audio) , -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

One acre-foot is equivalent to nearly 326,000 gallons of water, which is enough to cover an acre of land -- about a football field -- with water one foot deep. Karen Pearlman, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Helix Water District board approves 2019-20 budget," 12 June 2019 Laura Hamilton, director of the Center for Social and Emotional Learning Research at RAND Corporation, said there isn’t enough evidence to be sure that demonstrating competency on an exam is equivalent to completing a course. Meg Wingerter, The Denver Post, "Adams 12 alternative school offers career tests as alternative way to graduate," 8 June 2019 The fighting was uneven and fierce, and Finland lost 5 percent of its male population, a proportion that would be equivalent to 9 million Americans killed in a war today. Moisés Naím, Washington Post, "Psychotherapy can solve personal problems — why not national crises?," 7 June 2019 The fine amount is equivalent to 4% of Changan Ford’s annual sales in Chongqing. Bloomberg, latimes.com, "China fines Ford for antitrust violations as trade war escalates," 5 June 2019 That loss is equivalent to about six months of economic activity. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "More mangroves? Economies recover faster after tropical cyclones," 4 June 2019 That is equivalent to the typical output of all Britain’s electric-power plants put together. Oliver Morton, WIRED, "The Beauty and Madness of Sending a Man to the Moon," 4 June 2019 That result is equivalent to the mechanical power of the mass being measured. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "This Weird Machine Could Be the Most Accurate Measuring System Ever," 3 June 2019 The net result was equivalent to 29 Mexican centavos per share, or 31 U.S. cents... Anthony Harrup, WSJ, "América Móvil First Quarter Profit Rises," 29 Apr. 2019

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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Statistics for equivalent

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 How to pronounce equivalent (audio) \

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 How to pronounce equivalent (audio) \

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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Comments on equivalent

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