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 In Iran, it was viewed as tantamount to an act of war. New York Times, "Iran Ends Nuclear Limits as Killing of Iranian General Upends Mideast," 5 Jan. 2020 In Iran, it was viewed as tantamount to an act of war. Ben Hubbard, BostonGlobe.com, "Iran ends nuclear limits as killing of Iranian general upends Mideast," 5 Jan. 2020 One critic referred to Obama’s endorsement as tantamount to foreign interference in an election. Lisa Donovan, chicagotribune.com, "The Spin: While she mulls the property tax hike question, Lightfoot proposes hiking parking meter, Uber and restaurant taxes, fees," 21 Oct. 2019 During the course of the investigation, your state registration was voluntarily revoked, which is tantamount to a permanent revocation. Jeff Weiner, orlandosentinel.com, "Ex-guardian Rebecca Fierle violated laws in handling of ward who died, state agency concludes," 29 Aug. 2019 Conway and McFadden are being challenged by sitting delegates in the Democratic primary, which in Baltimore is tantamount to the final election. Michael Dresser, baltimoresun.com, "Challengers to Baltimore senators could bring energy — but also a loss of clout for city in Annapolis," 11 May 2018 Earlier this month, Valdez received a second indefinite suspension, which is tantamount to firing. Emilie Eaton, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio police chief changes procedures after detective fired," 23 Jan. 2018 But Internet companies, business groups, and advertising groups countered that theproposal was an unfair way to pay for the education overhaul and was tantamount to muzzling advertisers. Washington Post, "Taxing digital ads could bring Maryland $250 million — and a hefty legal challenge," 29 Jan. 2020 Members of this body full-well understand that a presidential impeachment is tantamount to domestic war albeit thankfully, protected by our beloved first amendment, a war of words and a war of ideas. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Trump defender Ken Starr delivers ironic presentation on the “age of impeachment”," 28 Jan. 2020

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of tantamount was in 1641

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Last Updated

21 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tantamount.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tantamount. Accessed 29 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce tantamount (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of tantamount

: equal to something in value, meaning, or effect

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