Definition of tantamount
- a relationship tantamount to marriage
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His statement was tantamount to an admission of guilt.
They see any criticism of the President as tantamount to treason.
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.
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.
First Known Use: 1641See Words from the same year
: equal to something in value, meaning, or effect
What made you want to look up tantamount? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
to lower or disgrace the reputation of
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