verb (used with object), e·quat·ed, e·quat·ing.

to regard, treat, or represent as equivalent: We cannot equate the possession of wealth with goodness.
to state the equality of or between; put in the form of an equation: to equate growing prosperity with the physical health of a nation.
to reduce to an average; make such correction or allowance in as will reduce to a common standard of comparison.

Origin of equate

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin aequātus (past participle of aequāre to make equal), equivalent to aequ(us) equal + -ātus -ate1
Related formse·quat·a·bil·i·ty, noune·quat·a·ble, adjectiveun·e·quat·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for equate

Contemporary Examples of equate

Historical Examples of equate

  • "By God, if he should try that—to equate her from Logical into reject—" He gestured helplessly.

  • One could not equate human ethics with the ethics of the Cytha.

    The World That Couldn't Be

    Clifford Donald Simak

  • It is a more serious difficulty that Paul knows of no Longobardic king with a name which we can equate with Sceaf.


    R. W. Chambers

  • No one aware of the dynamics of work and life today can equate the notion of majority with democracy.

  • The difficulty for Germany was, how to equate her world-wide ambitions with the restricted and diverse aims of Austria and Italy.

British Dictionary definitions for equate


verb (mainly tr)

to make or regard as equivalent or similar, esp in order to compare or balance
maths to indicate the equality of; form an equation from
(intr) to be equal; correspond
Derived Formsequatable, adjectiveequatability, noun

Word Origin for equate

C15: from Latin aequāre to make equal
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 equate

early 15c., from Latin aequatus "level, levelled, even," past participle of aequare "make even or uniform, make equal," from aequus "level, even, equal" (see equal (adj.)). Earliest use in English was of astrological calculation, then "to make equal;" meaning "to regard as equal" is early 19c. Related: Equated; equating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper