- the quality of being fair or impartial; fairness; impartiality: the equity of Solomon.
- something that is fair and just: the equities of our criminal-justice system.
- Also called chancery.the application of the dictates of conscience or the principles of natural justice to the settlement of controversies.
- Also called chancery.a system of jurisprudence or a body of doctrines and rules developed in England and followed in the U.S., serving to supplement and remedy the limitations and the inflexibility of the common law.
- an equitable or legally valid right or claim.
- equity of redemption.
- the monetary value of a property or business beyond any amounts owed on it in mortgages, claims, liens, etc.: Over the years, they have carefully avoided tapping into their home equity for unnecessary expenses.
- Informal. ownership, especially when considered as the right to share in future profits or appreciation in value.
- the interest of the owner of common stock in a corporation.
- (in a margin account) the excess of the market value of the securities over any indebtedness.
- (initial capital letter) Actors' Equity Association.
Origin of equity
It was not until the late 16th century that a new meaning—one that placed equity in the arena of law—emerged. Perhaps because many of the usages of equity involved legal disputes over rights and claims of ownership, by the turn of the 20th century, the word started being used in another sector: finance. It was at this point that terms such as “home equity” and “equity loan” became common finance terms. At the same time, equity started popping up in terms of stock and asset ownership.
In 1913, a small group of actors founded the labor union, Actors’ Equity Association—proof that the original sense of equity was still very much alive. This union, often referred to simply as “Equity” (with a capital E), fights for the rights of actors in the spirit of equity’s Latin roots.
- "Made a judge, and the judge of an adored woman, he found in his soul the equity of a judge as well as the inflexibility."-Honoré de Balzac transl. by Katharine Prescott Wormeley Farragus: Chief of the Dévorants (1895)
- "[H]ome equity borrowing has enormous disadvantages. Home, sweet home is the collateral. If you fall behind on payments, the bank could take it."-Mark Green, Nancy Youman The Consumer Bible: 1001 Ways to Shop Smart (1998)
- "Equity represents ownership in the firm and consists of retained profits and shares issued either privately or through a stock market."-Robert Y. Redlinger, Per Dannemand Andersen, Poul Erik Morthorst Wind Energy in the 21st Century (2002)
- "Equity insisted that striking actors be allowed to return to the positions they held at the time of the walkout."-Matthew Kennedy Marie Dressler: a A Biography (1999)
Examples from the Web for equities
He was an equities trader with Solomon Brothers who was laid off in 1981 with a $10 million severance package.Bloomberg Terminal Scandal Makes Bunga-Bunga Parties Seem Quaint
May 13, 2013
These days, however, sophisticated investors and those with large pools of capital are trading in everything but U.S. equities.NYSE’s Sale to ICE: Sign of the Times
December 20, 2012
In its recent quarter, Goldman showed massive declines in its trading revenues of both bonds and equities, 20 to 30 percent.Wall Street Is Shrinking
November 3, 2011
China holds about $1.5 trillion in Treasury bonds, equities and the like.Can Timmy Tackle China?
Leslie H. Gelb
May 31, 2009
As the goods are sold, so are the equities in them released, and the balance is credited to the mill.The Fabric of Civilization
That's what it amounts to, when you get down to it, behind all the bank balances and equities.The Prisoner
Black Feather, who believed firmly in the equities of force, did not hesitate.The Sunset Trail
Alfred Henry Lewis
Once more Bonteck went over the equities patiently and painstakingly.Pirates' Hope
Where the equities are equal the law prevails, in any course it likes to pursue.Mr. Punch in Wig and Gown
- another name for ordinary shares
- the actors' trade unionFull name: Actors' Equity Association
- the quality of being impartial or reasonable; fairness
- an impartial or fair act, decision, etc
- law a system of jurisprudence founded on principles of natural justice and fair conduct. It supplements the common law and mitigates its inflexibility, as by providing a remedy where none exists at law
- law an equitable right or claimequity of redemption
- the interest of ordinary shareholders in a company
- the market value of a debtor's property in excess of all debts to which it is liable
Word Origin and History for equities
early 14c., from Old French equite (13c.), from Latin aequitatem (nominative aequitas) "equality, conformity, symmetry, fairness," from aequus "even, just, equal" (see equal). As the name of a system of law, 1590s, from Roman naturalis aequitas, the general principles of justice which corrected or supplemented the legal codes.
In real estate, the financial value of someone's property over and above the amount the person owes on mortgages. For example, if you buy a house for $100,000, paying $20,000 down and borrowing $80,000, your equity in the house is $20,000. As you pay off the principal of the loan, your equity will rise.