tan·​ta·​mount | \ ˈtan-tə-ˌmau̇nt How to pronounce tantamount (audio) \

Definition of tantamount

: equivalent in value, significance, or effect a relationship tantamount to marriage

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Did You Know?

Tantamount comes from the Anglo-French phrase tant amunter, meaning "to amount to as much." This phrase comes from the Old French tant, meaning "so much" or "as much," and amounter, meaning "to ascend" or "to add up to." When tantamount first entered English, it was used similarly to the Anglo-French phrase, as a verb meaning "to be equivalent." "His not denying tant-amounteth to the affirming of the matter," wrote clergyman Thomas Fuller in 1659, for example. There was also a noun tantamount in the 17th century, but the adjective is the only commonly used form of the term nowadays.

Examples of tantamount in a Sentence

His statement was tantamount to an admission of guilt. They see any criticism of the President as tantamount to treason.

Recent Examples on the Web

Newsletter Sign-up A Sputnik representative said the company’s journalists focus on only news, and that Facebook’s decision to block some of its pages is tantamount to political censorship. Stu Woo, WSJ, "Facebook Pulls More Russia-Linked Accounts," 17 Jan. 2019 To the president, admitting to a mistake is tantamount to weakness and failure, and his underlings have already learned to follow his example. Jay Willis, GQ, "The Trump White House Will Never Apologize for Anything," 8 Feb. 2018 But rooftop LiDAR is aesthetically clunky, tantamount to a civilian version of a Michigan State Police car's bubble light. Jc Reindl, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit-outfitted self-driving cars featured at CES 2018 in Las Vegas," 7 Jan. 2018 Some committee members, including many who represent minority communities, argued excluding superdelegates on the first ballot was tantamount to voter disenfranchisement. Adam Levy, CNN, "Congressional Democrats could lose their status as DNC superdelegates," 13 June 2018 In a relationship, Pisces must remember that their partner's perceptions of reality are as worthy of contemplation as their own and that feedback is not tantamount to censure. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What Your Zodiac Sign Says About Your Worst Relationship Habit," 14 May 2018 But if Iran ousts the inspectors or blocks their access, such a step would be considered tantamount to restoring its uranium enrichment program. Jeffrey Mervis, Science | AAAS, "Explainer: How will Trump’s withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal affect research?," 8 May 2018 Regulating start-ups has long been considered tantamount to stifling innovation. Tracey Lien, latimes.com, "Silicon Valley played by a different set of rules. Facebook’s crisis could put an end to that," 23 Mar. 2018 Addressing the subject with the North is particularly difficult given that Kim's government is believed to view the raising of human rights as tantamount to advocating regime change. Fox News, "Some worry Trump is overlooking other issues with NKorea," 5 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tantamount.' 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 tantamount

1641, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tantamount

obsolete tantamount, noun, equivalent, from Anglo-French tant amunter to amount to as much

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Time Traveler for tantamount

The first known use of tantamount was in 1641

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English Language Learners Definition of tantamount

: equal to something in value, meaning, or effect

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marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

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