tantamount

adjective
tan·​ta·​mount | \ˈtan-tə-ˌmau̇nt \

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

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 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. Washington Post, "Some worry Trump is overlooking other issues with NKorea," 5 June 2018 While some moderates envision a path to citizenship for DACA recipients, conservatives -- particularly those in the House Freedom Caucus -- have called such a move tantamount to amnesty. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "Paul Ryan scrambles to calm GOP insurrection over immigration," 2 Oct. 2018 For all the speculation about the existence of the pee tape, the latest revelations prove what is tantamount to the same thing. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Russian Leverage Over Trump Is Not Just a Theory. It’s Now Fact.," 8 May 2018 For many people of color in France, the state’s refusal to address the issue is tantamount to an implicit acceptance of discrimination. James Mcauley, Washington Post, "In the age of #MeToo, these French actresses are also protesting the film industry’s lack of racial diversity," 18 May 2018 There are many experts who believe this would essentially be tantamount to eliminating the Education Department, which was a Donald Trump campaign promise. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "Vox Sentences: Two federal departments for the price of one?," 23 June 2018 In the nation’s capital, where the overwhelming majority of voters are registered Democrats, the primary is tantamount to a general election - unless an independent challenger emerges in time for the November contest. Washington Post, "District voters head to the polls," 19 June 2018 In the demonology of the left, the Kochs are tantamount to Satan. Jeff Jacoby, BostonGlobe.com, "Pro-immigrant Republicans, from Lincoln to the Koch brothers," 15 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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Last Updated

28 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for tantamount

The first known use of tantamount was in 1641

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More Definitions for tantamount

tantamount

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of tantamount

: equal to something in value, meaning, or effect

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More from Merriam-Webster on tantamount

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tantamount

Spanish Central: Translation of tantamount

Nglish: Translation of tantamount for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tantamount for Arabic Speakers

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