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  1. characterized by equity or fairness; just and right; fair; reasonable: equitable treatment of all citizens.
  2. Law.
    1. pertaining to or valid in equity.
    2. pertaining to the system of equity, as distinguished from the common law.

Origin of equitable

First recorded in 1640–50; equit(y) + -able
Related formseq·ui·ta·bil·i·ty, eq·ui·ta·ble·ness, nouneq·ui·ta·bly, adverbnon·eq·ui·ta·ble, adjectivenon·eq·ui·ta·bly, adverbqua·si-eq·ui·ta·ble, adjectivequa·si-eq·ui·ta·bly, adverb
Can be confusedequable equitable

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for equitably


  1. impartial or reasonable; fair; justan equitable decision
  2. law relating to or valid in equity, as distinct from common law or statute law
  3. law (formerly) recognized in a court of equity only, as claims, rights, etc
Derived Formsequitableness, nounequitably, adverb

Word Origin for equitable

C17: from French équitable, from équité equity
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 equitably



1640s, from French équitable (16c.), from équité (see equity). Related: Equitably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper