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See also: équivalent


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Alternative forms[edit]


equi- +‎ -valent. From Latin aequivalentem, accusative singular of aequivalēns, present active participle of aequivaleō (I am equivalent, have equal power).



equivalent (comparative more equivalent, superlative most equivalent)

  1. Similar or identical in value, meaning or effect; virtually equal.
    • South
      For now to serve and to minister, servile and ministerial, are terms equivalent.
    • 2012 March 1, Henry Petroski, “Opening Doors”, in American Scientist[1], volume 100, number 2, page 112-3:
      A doorknob of whatever roundish shape is effectively a continuum of levers, with the axis of the latching mechanism—known as the spindle—being the fulcrum about which the turning takes place. Applying a force tangential to the knob is essentially equivalent to applying one perpendicular to a radial line defining the lever.
  2. (mathematics) Of two sets, having a one-to-one correspondence; equinumerous.
    • Comprehensive MCQ's in Mathematics, page 3:
      Finite sets A and B are equivalent sets only when n(A) = n(B) i.e., the number of elements in A and B are equal.
    • 1950, E. Kamke, Theory of Sets, page 16:
      All enumerable sets are equivalent to each other, but not to any finite set.
    • 2000, N. L. Carothers, Real Analysis, page 18:
      Equivalent sets should, by rights, have the same "number" of elements. For this reason we sometimes say that equivalent sets have the same cardinality.
    • 2006, Joseph Breuer, Introduction to the Theory of Sets, page 41:
      The equivalence theorem: If both M is equivalent to a subset N1 of N and N is equivalent to a subset M1 of M, then the sets M and N are equivalent to each other.
  3. (mathematics) Relating to the corresponding elements of an equivalence relation.
  4. (chemistry) Having the equal ability to combine.
  5. (cartography) Of a map, equal-area.
  6. (geometry) Equal in measure but not admitting of superposition; applied to magnitudes.
    A square may be equivalent to a triangle.

Usage notes[edit]

  • In mathematics, this adjective can be used in phrases like "A and B are equivalent", "A is equivalent to B", and, less commonly, "A is equivalent with B".

Derived terms[edit]



equivalent (plural equivalents)

  1. Anything that is virtually equal to something else, or has the same value, force, etc.
    • Macaulay
      He owned that, if the Test Act were repealed, the Protestants were entitled to some equivalent.
  2. (chemistry) An equivalent weight.



equivalent (third-person singular simple present equivalents, present participle equivalenting, simple past and past participle equivalented)

  1. (transitive) To make equivalent to; to equal.



equivalent (masculine and feminine plural equivalents)

  1. equivalent




equivalent (not comparable)

  1. equivalent


Inflection of equivalent
uninflected equivalent
inflected equivalente
predicative/adverbial equivalent
indefinite m./f. sing. equivalente
n. sing. equivalent
plural equivalente
definite equivalente
partitive equivalents