[ ih-kwiv-uh-luhnt or, for 5, ee-kwuh-vey-luhnt ]
See synonyms for: equivalentequivalently on Thesaurus.com

  1. equal in value, measure, force, effect, significance, etc.: His silence is equivalent to an admission of guilt.

  2. corresponding in position, function, etc.: In some ways their prime minister is equivalent to our president.

  1. Geometry. having the same extent, as a triangle and a square of equal area.

  2. Mathematics. (of two sets) able to be placed in one-to-one correspondence.

  3. Chemistry. having the same capacity to combine or react chemically.

  1. something that is equivalent.

Origin of equivalent

First recorded in 1425–75; late Middle English, from Late Latin aequivalent- (stem of aequivalēns ), present participle of aequivalēre. See equi-, -valent

synonym study For equivalent

1. See equal.

Other words from equivalent

  • e·quiv·a·lent·ly, adverb
  • non·e·quiv·a·lent, adjective, noun
  • non·e·quiv·a·lent·ly, adverb
  • qua·si-e·quiv·a·lent, adjective
  • qua·si-e·quiv·a·lent·ly, adverb
  • su·per·e·quiv·a·lent, adjective, noun
  • un·e·quiv·a·lent, adjective
  • un·e·quiv·a·lent·ly, adverb

Words that may be confused with equivalent

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use equivalent in a sentence

  • Yes, any additional current borrowing must eventually be repaid—or, equivalently, the interest on it must be paid forever.

    Let's Start Spending | Robert H. Frank | July 20, 2010 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • The evil of the last days had fallen from him, and the reaction was equivalently violent.

    A Mere Accident | George Moore
  • Thus, they could themselves equivalently provide a part at least of their additional remuneration.

    Distributive Justice | John A. (John Augustine) Ryan

British Dictionary definitions for equivalent


/ (ɪˈkwɪvələnt) /

  1. equal or interchangeable in value, quantity, significance, etc

  2. having the same or a similar effect or meaning

  1. maths

    • having a particular property in common; equal

    • (of two equations or inequalities) having the same set of solutions

    • (of two sets) having the same cardinal number

  2. maths logic (of two propositions) having an equivalence between them

  1. something that is equivalent

Origin of equivalent

C15: from Late Latin aequivalēns, from aequivalēre to be equally significant, from Latin aequi- equi- + valēre to be worth

Derived forms of equivalent

  • equivalently, adverb

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

Scientific definitions for equivalent


[ ĭ-kwĭvə-lənt ]

  1. Equal, as in value, meaning, or force.

    • Of or relating to a relation between two elements that is reflexive, symmetric, and transitive.

    • Having a one-to-one correspondence, as between parts. Two triangles having the same area are equivalent, as are two congruent geometric figures.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.