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equilibrium

[ee-kwuh-lib-ree-uh m, ek-wuh-]
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noun, plural e·qui·lib·ri·ums, e·qui·lib·ri·a [ee-kwuh-lib-ree-uh, ek-wuh-] /ˌi kwəˈlɪb ri ə, ˌɛk wə-/.
  1. a state of rest or balance due to the equal action of opposing forces.
  2. equal balance between any powers, influences, etc.; equality of effect.
  3. mental or emotional balance; equanimity: The pressures of the situation caused her to lose her equilibrium.
  4. Chemistry. the condition existing when a chemical reaction and its reverse reaction proceed at equal rates.
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Origin of equilibrium

1600–10; < Latin aequilībrium, equivalent to aequi- equi- + lībr(a) balance + -ium -ium
Related formse·quil·i·bra·to·ry [ih-kwil-uh-bruh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, ee-kwuh-lib-ruh-, ek-wuh-] /ɪˈkwɪl ə brəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i, ˌi kwəˈlɪb rə-, ˌɛk wə-/, adjectivenon·e·qui·lib·ri·um, noun

Synonyms

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1. equipoise, steadiness, stability.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for equilibrium

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • She was not going to have the equilibrium of her party disturbed, and that was all about it.

  • It simply must be done to preserve the equilibrium and avoid a spill.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • His equilibrium was upset, he again trembled with violent fever, as formerly.

    Therese Raquin

    Emile Zola

  • The equilibrium which had shown a tendency to be established in her, was upset.

    Therese Raquin

    Emile Zola

  • We have seen the worst of the English sparrow; he has now found his equilibrium.

    The Meaning of Evolution

    Samuel Christian Schmucker


British Dictionary definitions for equilibrium

equilibrium

noun plural -riums or -ria (-rɪə)
  1. a stable condition in which forces cancel one another
  2. a state or feeling of mental balance; composure
  3. any unchanging condition or state of a body, system, etc, resulting from the balance or cancelling out of the influences or processes to which it is subjectedSee thermodynamic equilibrium
  4. physics a state of rest or uniform motion in which there is no resultant force on a body
  5. chem the condition existing when a chemical reaction and its reverse reaction take place at equal rates
  6. physics the condition of a system that has its total energy distributed among its component parts in the statistically most probable manner
  7. physiol a state of bodily balance, maintained primarily by special receptors in the inner ear
  8. the economic condition in which there is neither excess demand nor excess supply in a market
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Word Origin

C17: from Latin aequilībrium, from aequi- equi- + lībra pound, balance
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for equilibrium

n.

c.1600, from Latin aequilibrium, from aequus "equal" (see equal) + libra "a balance, scale, plummet" (see Libra).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

equilibrium in Medicine

equilibrium

(ē′kwə-lĭbrē-əm, ĕk′wə-)
n.
  1. A condition in which all influences acting upon it are canceled by others, resulting in a stable, balanced, or unchanging system.
  2. The state of a chemical reaction in which its forward and reverse reactions occur at equal rates so that the concentration of the reactants and products does not change with time.dynamic equilibrium
  3. Mental or emotional balance.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

equilibrium in Science

equilibrium

[ē′kwə-lĭbrē-əm]
Plural equilibriums equilibria
  1. Physics The state of a body or physical system that is at rest or in constant and unchanging motion. A system that is in equilibrium shows no tendency to alter over time.♦ If a system is in static equilibrium, there are no net forces and no net torque in the system.♦ If a system is in stable equilibrium, small disturbances to the system cause only a temporary change before it returns to its original state.
  2. Chemistry The state of a reversible chemical reaction in which its forward and reverse reactions occur at equal rates so that the concentration of the reactants and products remains the same.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

equilibrium in Culture

equilibrium

In economics, a state of the economy in which for every commodity or service (including labor), total supply and demand are exactly equal. Equilibrium is never actually attained; it is approximated by movements of the market.

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Note

Keynesian economics departed from conventional economic theory in demonstrating that economic equilibrium and full employment need not occur together. Therefore, as a system tends toward equilibrium, it might not eliminate unemployment.

equilibrium

A condition in which all influences acting cancel each other, so that a static or balanced situation results. In physics, equilibrium results from the cancellation of forces acting on an object. In chemistry, it occurs when chemical reactions are proceeding in such a way that the amount of each substance in a system remains the same. (See chemical equilibrium.)

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.