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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The rate increase is equivalent to about 50 cents to $1.50 per month for the average water user in the township, Stinson said. Jeff Forward, Houston Chronicle, "It’s official: WJPA changes name to Woodlands Water Agency," 12 Sep. 2019 Hydrocodone, the opioid in Vicodin, has a potency that is equivalent to morphine. David Armstrong, ProPublica, "Data Touted by OxyContin Maker to Fight Lawsuits Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story," 9 Sep. 2019 The center found that when driving 50 mph or more, every 5 mph increase is equivalent to paying between 20 and 40 cents more per gallon. Leah Asmelash, CNN, "What you need to know about carbon footprints," 8 Sep. 2019 Even the near-term annual figure provided in Barrick’s slide deck of $750 million a year looks aggressive, being equivalent to all of Newmont’s non-depreciation operating expenses. Washington Post, "Barrick Swings Hard for Newmont - Maybe Too Hard," 18 Sep. 2019 Lover has racked up a total of 867,000 equivalent album units, according to Nielsen Music, and 679,000 units impressively came from pure album sales. Jordan Runtagh, PEOPLE.com, "Taylor Swift Prepares to Take Lover on the Road as She Announces 2020 Festival and Stadium Dates," 17 Sep. 2019 The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units. Keith Caulfield, Billboard, "Post Malone Scores Second No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 With 'Hollywood's Bleeding'," 15 Sep. 2019 That is equivalent to roughly 60% of the kingdom’s output and 6% of the world’s oil production. The Economist, "Drone attacks cut Saudi Arabia’s oil output by half," 15 Sep. 2019 The maximum sustained winds are equivalent to a Category 2 or 3 hurricane. Fox News, "Typhoon Faxai targets Tokyo as more than 100,000 told to evacuate ahead of 'very powerful' storm," 9 Sep. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about equivalent

Statistics for equivalent

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for equivalent

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on equivalent

What made you want to look up equivalent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!