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[tan-tuh-mount] /ˈtæn təˌmaʊnt/
equivalent, as in value, force, effect, or signification:
His angry speech was tantamount to a declaration of war.
Origin of tantamount
1635-45; adj. use of obsolete noun: that which amounts to as much, itself noun use of obsolete v.: to amount to as much < Anglo-French tant amunter or Italian tanto montare to amount to as much. See tanto, amount
Can be confused
paramount, tantamount. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for tantamount
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He did not answer her, for he could not speak at all; but his silence was tantamount to an admission.

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill
  • He made a furious gesture, which was tantamount to sending her to the devil.

    His Masterpiece Emile Zola
  • It would be tantamount to acknowledging she was for sale but that he hadn't the price.

    The Paliser case Edgar Saltus
  • The average Republican regarded this message as tantamount to a declaration of war.

    Union and Democracy

    Allen Johnson
  • This would not do, said the colonel; it was tantamount to insubordination.

    Marion's Faith. Charles King
British Dictionary definitions for tantamount


(postpositive) foll by to. as good (as); equivalent in effect (to): his statement was tantamount to an admission of guilt
Word Origin
C17: basically from Anglo-French tant amunter to amount to as much, from tant so much + amunter to amount
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
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Word Origin and History for tantamount

1640s, from verbal phrase tant amount "be equivalent" (1620s), from Anglo-French tant amunter "amount to as much" (late 13c.), from Old French tant "as much" (from Latin tantus, from tam "so") + amonter "amount to, go up" (see amount).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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