[ ek-wi-tee ]
/ 藞蓻k w瑟 ti /
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noun, plural eq路ui路ties.


1 disinterest, justness, objectivity, equitability, fair-mindedness, evenhandedness; justice.
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Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can鈥檛 figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of equity

First recorded in 1275鈥1325; Middle English equite, equitee, equyte, from Old French equit茅, from Latin aequit膩t-, stem of aequit膩s 鈥渆venness, smoothness, fairness鈥; see equi-, -ty2

historical usage of equity

Equity is a great example of a word that started out with a general sense that developed more specific senses over time, while still retaining the original meaning. The very first meanings of equity in English were a direct translation from the original Old French equit茅, a word whose Latin root means 鈥渆ven,鈥 鈥渏ust,鈥 and 鈥渆qual.鈥
It was not until the late 16th century that a new meaning鈥攐ne that placed equity in the arena of law鈥攅merged. 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 鈥渉ome equity鈥 and 鈥渆quity loan鈥 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鈥 Equity Association鈥攑roof that the original sense of equity was still very much alive. This union, often referred to simply as 鈥淓quity鈥 (with a capital E), fights for the rights of actors in the spirit of equity鈥檚 Latin roots.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use equity in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for equity (1 of 2)

/ (藞蓻kw瑟t瑟) /

noun plural -ties
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 for equity

C14: from Old French equite, from Latin aequit膩s, from aequus level, equal

British Dictionary definitions for equity (2 of 2)

/ (藞蓻kw瑟t瑟) /

the actors' trade unionFull name: Actors' Equity Association
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for equity (1 of 2)


A body of rules or customs based on general principles of fair play rather than on common law or statutory law.

Cultural definitions for equity (2 of 2)


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.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright 漏 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.