THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ IS HARDLY A DODDLE!
Words nearby equalizer
ABOUT THIS WORD
What else does equalizer mean?
An equalizer levels the playing field or otherwise evens discrepancies out. The term can variously refer to: weapons, score-tying points in sports, a device that modifies sound frequencies, and forces or phenomena that balance out social inequalities.
What are some other forms of equalizer?
(chiefly British) equaliser
Where does equalizer come from?
Equalizer is literally “something that equalizes,” with equalize meaning “to make equal.” The word equalizer is first recorded in the late 1700s. Early instances of the word especially referred to various devices that could make speed, temperature, pressure, or the like uniform.
Horace Mann, the influential American educational reformer and Whig politician, used the word equalizer as a mechanical metaphor in 1848 when he intoned his famous words: “Education, then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men—the balance-wheel of the social machinery.” For Mann, education, ideally, enables everyone to have an equal shot at economic and social success.
The “weapons” sense of equalizers emerged by the late 1890s, first used for a knife or bomb and later and more commonly by the 1920s, a gun. This equalizer is cruelly ironic, as a weapon makes all fates equal to those before it. In contemporary use, the term has taken on a more literal use when gun-rights advocates speak of their weapons as equalizers during an attack (i.e., they give a weaker person more of a chance against a foe).
Technological developments in the late 1920s gave us another sense of the word with the invention of the equalizer, a device designed to help balance out frequencies of sound by dropping or boosting the bass, mid, and treble. Know that thingy in your car stereo that allows you to play with the sound levels? That’s essentially an equalizer, though music producers and editors use ones with lots more knobs. Music producers refer to the act of equalization as EQ for short.
In sports, points that bring a score to a tie were being called equalizers by the 1930s, originally (and still) in soccer. The term gradually spread to other sports and can now be used in the coverage of any kind of point-based game.
In pop culture, The Equalizer refers to a 1980s TV series (adapted into films in 2014 and 2018 starring Denzel Washington) featuring a vigilante who calls himself the Equalizer, serving justice for those who aren’t strong enough to do it themselves—with his wits and weapons. Yes, there are several senses of equalizer at work here.
How is equalizer used in real life?
Using and understanding equalizer is all about context, given the many senses of the word.
Musicians and music producers may use an equalizer when recording and editing audio. Sports journalists may use equalizer when calling a tying point in a game.
New app: FabFilter Pro-Q 3 (iPad) https://t.co/XhJxKuHgBs https://t.co/BInAIzeL2V More musician apps, updates, price drops at https://t.co/gI4n0NzCJk #Equalizer #MusicFx #Studio #iOSMusicApps pic.twitter.com/Q6snAC4Ylg
— SynthyFrog (@synthyfrog) July 8, 2019
I wud rather take an equalizer than a win from Manchester united #MUNLIV
— Lynn🌼💫 (@LynnMubiru) October 20, 2019
Evoking the famous phrase of Horace Mann, the phrase great equalizer is specifically used to refer to various forces or phenomena that give everyone in an unequal position a fair shot—or, more tragically, reduce all people to the same circumstances.
— Keith Ellison (@keithellison) May 16, 2018
In 2020, COVID-19 was sometimes originally discussed as the great equalizer in that it forced rich and poor, young and old, black and white, to stay at home and infected all types of people regardless of their background. However, many people criticized use of this phrase due to evidence COVID-19 disproportionately infected people of color, for instance, or that wealthier communities had more access to high-quality education, medical testing and supplies, and the internet during shelter-in-place orders.
On today's Daily: college is supposed to be the great equalizer. Then the coronavirus struck, sending students home and reinforcing those divisions. @caseysjournal with a powerful dispatch:https://t.co/dnzWeBQU1o
— Michael Barbaro (@mikiebarb) May 5, 2020
Coronavirus is the “great equalizer” the same way that climate change is the “great equalizer,” which is to say: not at all.
Communities of color, lower income households and vulnerable populations are bearing the brunt of covid 19
— Jie Jenny Zou (@jiejennyzou) April 4, 2020
While calling, say, a shotgun an equalizer sounds old-fashioned today, some gun owners and gun-rights activists do refer to guns as equalizers for women facing male assailants.
I don't have as much physical strength as the average man, so I bought a Glock.
Because I, a woman, am vulnerable to men using deadly force against me, a firearm is an equalizer.
Gun rights are women's rights.
— PanickedJanet (@SIGSYS) April 30, 2020
More examples of equalizer:
“Is Digital the Great Equalizer When It Comes to Gender Equality at Work?”
—Ellyn Shook, HuffPost (headline), March 2016
“Shortly after falling behind on a second-half goal by Burnley’s Matej Vydra, Bournemouth thought they had scored a well-worked equalizer.”
—Doug McIntyre, Yahoo Sports, February 2020
Example sentences from the Web for equalizer
Belgium pressed relentlessly for an equalizer, dominating play from about the 70th minute to the final whistle.Costa Rica vs. the Netherlands: A Tale of Two Goalies|Tunku Varadarajan|July 5, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Trotter says that for women, the ability to "arm ourselves" is an equalizer.
Nuclear weapons are today what the Colt 45 was in the Wild West—an equalizer.
"We serve as the equalizer," the super PAC's spokesman Curtis Ellis told NPR.
More than one model of handgun has been named “The Equalizer.”
Interest is therefore the equalizer of the value of things in different periods.The Principles of Economics|Frank A. Fetter
It may be the cheap and simple arm that anyone can make and use—the equalizer!Security|Poul William Anderson
What should be done if a driving spring hanger or equalizer should break?
He would invent an "equalizer" to take the "whip" out of the action between car and trailer.Plowing On Sunday|Sterling North
What should be done with a broken engine truck spring or equalizer?