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

The player built into the soundbar is equivalent to Roku’s existing Ultra player. Wired, "Roku Debuts a Soundbar, and It Comes With a Roku Built In," 4 Sep. 2019 That's equivalent to the energy used by 934,000 households in one year. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "Who are the biggest U.S. methane emitters?," 30 Aug. 2019 The heat release is equivalent to a 10-megaton nuclear bomb exploding every 20 minutes. Dan Sweeney, sun-sentinel.com, "Can you nuke a hurricane? Trump says suggestion is ‘fake news.’ Scientists say it’s even worse than that.," 26 Aug. 2019 The kinetic energy of the wind at any instant was equivalent to that released by a nuclear warhead. Martin Finucane, BostonGlobe.com, "President Trump denies suggesting that nukes could be used to disrupt hurricanes," 26 Aug. 2019 The heat release is equivalent to a 10-megaton nuclear bomb exploding every 20 minutes. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "You Can't Nuke a Hurricane," 26 Aug. 2019 At that rate, Stripe’s yearly investment would be equivalent to taking just over 300 passenger vehicles off the road for a year. Justine Calma, The Verge, "Stripe will pay $1 million a year to take carbon out of the air — but will it work?," 19 Aug. 2019 That was a lot of money, equivalent today to more than $20,000. John Kelly, Washington Post, "Remembering Eddie Bernstein, the legless beggar with the monkey named Gypsy," 17 Aug. 2019 That's equivalent to $1.3 billion today, taking inflation into account. Michelle Toh, CNN, "Here's what it could cost for America to buy Greenland," 16 Aug. 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

8 Sep 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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