What does equivalent mean?

Definitions for equivalent
ɪˈkwɪv ə lənt or, for 5 , ˌi kwəˈveɪ ləntequiv·a·lent

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word equivalent.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. equivalentnoun

    a person or thing equal to another in value or measure or force or effect or significance etc

    "send two dollars or the equivalent in stamps"

  2. equivalent, equivalent weight, combining weight, eqadjective

    the atomic weight of an element that has the same combining capacity as a given weight of another element; the standard is 8 for oxygen

  3. equivalent, tantamount(p)adjective

    being essentially equal to something

    "it was as good as gold"; "a wish that was equivalent to a command"; "his statement was tantamount to an admission of guilt"


  1. equivalentnoun

    Anything that is virtually equal to another.

  2. equivalentnoun

    An equivalent weight.

  3. equivalentverb

    To make equivalent to; to equal.

  4. equivalentadjective

    Similar or identical in value, meaning or effect; virtually equal.

  5. equivalentadjective

    Of two sets, having a one-to-one relationship.

  6. equivalentadjective

    Relating to the corresponding elements of an equivalence relation.

  7. equivalentadjective

    Having the equal ability to combine.

  8. equivalentadjective

    Of a map, equal-area.

  9. Etymology: From aequivalentem, accusative singular of aequivalens, present active participle of aequivaleo.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Equivalentadjective

    Etymology: æquus and valens, Latin.

    Well nigh equivalent, and neighb’ring value,
    By lot are parted; but the value, high heav’n, thy share,
    In equal balance laid with earth and hell,
    Flings up the adverse scale, and shuns proportion. Matthew Prior.

    No fair to thine
    Equivalent, or second! which compell’d
    Me thus, though importune perhaps, to come
    And gaze, and worship thee. John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. ix.

    The dread of Israel’s foes, who, with a strength
    Equivalent to angels, walk’d their streets,
    None offering fight. John Milton, Agonistes, l. 342.

    The consideration of publick utility is, by very good advice, judged at the least equivalent with the easier kind of necessity. Richard Hooker, b. v. s. 9.

    The use of the word minister is brought down to the literal signification of it, a servant; for now to serve and to minister, servile and ministerial, are terms equivalent. Robert South, Sermons.

  2. Equivalentnoun

    A thing of the same weight, dignity, or value.

    The slave without a ransom shall be sent;
    It rests for you to make th’ equivalent. John Dryden, Homer.

    Fancy a regular obedience to one law will be a full equivalent for their breach of another. John Rogers, Sermon 13.


  1. equivalent

    Equivalent generally refers to a state or condition in which two or more things are equal or have the same value, function, size, or meaning. In various contexts, it can also refer to equivalent units, items, elements, or entities having the capacity to be substituted one for the other without altering the outcome or result in a specific situation.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Equivalentadjective

    equal in wortir or value, force, power, effect, import, and the like; alike in significance and value; of the same import or meaning

  2. Equivalentadjective

    equal in measure but not admitting of superposition; -- applied to magnitudes; as, a square may be equivalent to a triangle

  3. Equivalentadjective

    contemporaneous in origin; as, the equivalent strata of different countries

  4. Equivalentnoun

    something equivalent; that which is equal in value, worth, weight, or force; as, to offer an equivalent for damage done

  5. Equivalentnoun

    that comparative quantity by weight of an element which possesses the same chemical value as other elements, as determined by actual experiment and reference to the same standard. Specifically: (a) The comparative proportions by which one element replaces another in any particular compound; thus, as zinc replaces hydrogen in hydrochloric acid, their equivalents are 32.5 and 1. (b) The combining proportion by weight of a substance, or the number expressing this proportion, in any particular compound; as, the equivalents of hydrogen and oxygen in water are respectively 1 and 8, and in hydric dioxide 1 and 16

  6. Equivalentnoun

    a combining unit, whether an atom, a radical, or a molecule; as, in acid salt two or more equivalents of acid unite with one or more equivalents of base

  7. Equivalentverb

    to make the equivalent to; to equal; equivalence

  8. Etymology: [L. aequivalens, -entis, p. pr. of aequivalere to have equal power; aequus equal + valere to be strong, be worth: cf. F. quivalent. See Equal, and Valiant.]


  1. Equivalent

    The equivalent, sometimes termed the molar equivalent, is a unit of amount of substance used in chemistry and the biological sciences. The equivalent is formally defined as the amount of a substance which will either: ⁕react with or supply one mole of hydrogen ions in an acid–base reaction; or ⁕react with or supply one mole of electrons in a redox reaction. The mass of one equivalent of a substance is called its equivalent weight. A historical definition, used especially for the chemical elements, describes an equivalent as the amount of a substance that will react with one gram of hydrogen, or with eight grams of oxygen, or with 35.5 grams of chlorine, or displaces any of the three. In practice, the amount of a substance in equivalents often has a very small magnitude, so it is frequently described in terms of milliequivalents, the prefix milli denoting that the measure is divided by 1000. Very often, the measure is used in terms of milliequivalents of solute per litre of solvent. This is especially common for measurement of compounds in biological fluids; for instance, the healthy level of potassium in the blood of a human is defined between 3.5 and 5.0 mEq/L.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Equivalent

    e-kwiv′a-lent, adj. equal in value, power, meaning, &c.—n. a thing equivalent.—n. Equiv′alence.—adv. Equiv′alently. [Fr.,—L. æquus, equal, valens, valentis, pr.p. of valēre, to be worth.]

Editors Contribution

  1. equivalent

    Equal in amount, value or number.

    The equivalent amount of food was put at the table for everyone.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 19, 2020  

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British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'equivalent' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3770

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'equivalent' in Nouns Frequency: #1709

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'equivalent' in Adjectives Frequency: #499

How to pronounce equivalent?

How to say equivalent in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of equivalent in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of equivalent in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of equivalent in a Sentence

  1. Hesiod:

    Do not seek evil gains evil gains are the equivalent of disaster.

  2. Vincent Van Gogh:

    A good picture is equivalent to a good deed.

  3. Lyndon B. Johnson:

    To conclude that women are unfitted to the task of our historic society seems to me the equivalent of closing male eyes to female facts.

  4. Clay Travis:

    If you're a left-winger, which most ESPN employees are, the idea of comparing Chinese genocide to American controversial political issues seems like an equivalent position. It is not, there is no equivalent position in the United States to Chinese government-sponsored genocide. It is insane that anyone could think to make that case.

  5. The NFL players union:

    the repetitive use of a switch in this instance is the functional equivalent of a weapon, particularly in the hands of someone with the strength of an accomplished professional athlete.

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    clothing that is worn or carried, but not part of your main clothing
    • A. accessory
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