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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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 All of this is tantamount to two-sided communication. Expert Panel, Forbes, 27 Apr. 2022 Journalism 101 behavior is tantamount to harassment. Kat Bouza, Rolling Stone, 19 Apr. 2022 The Spurs went to Dallas for the regular-season finale and took care of business, coming away with a 130-120 defeat that — in the long run — was tantamount to victory. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, 11 Apr. 2022 Considering the state of discourse at Storrs, this is tantamount to academic seppuku. Aron Ravin, National Review, 3 Apr. 2022 Others started comparing Smith’s outburst to Putin’s aggression in the Ukraine, or saying that the slap was tantamount to domestic violence. Ej Dickson, Rolling Stone, 30 Mar. 2022 Were the United States, perhaps in concert with China, to become the globe’s environmental warden, then to question American, or U.S.-Chinese, hegemony would be tantamount to imperiling life on Earth. Thomas Meaney, The New Republic, 30 Mar. 2022 The day after President Joe Biden's fiery remarks, which some said were tantamount to calling for regime change in Russia, several U.S. officials took to the Sunday morning news shows to walk back those controversial remarks. NBC News, 27 Mar. 2022 The general premise is that criticism or public shaming of a person for saying certain things or alleged bad behavior is tantamount to censorship and erasure. Washington Post, 24 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

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The first known use of tantamount was in 1641

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Last Updated

30 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tantamount.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tantamount. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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