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From Anglo-Norman tant amount, from tant amunter, from Old French tant (as much) amonter (to amount to).


  • IPA(key): /ˈtæn.təˌmaʊnt/
  • (file)


tantamount (third-person singular simple present tantamounts, present participle tantamounting, simple past and past participle tantamounted)

  1. (obsolete) To amount to as much; to be equivalent.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Jeremy Taylor to this entry?)


tantamount (plural tantamounts)

  1. (obsolete) Something which has the same value or amount (as something else). (attributive use passing into adjective, below)
    • 1977, the Last Essays of Maurice Hewlett, page 42:
      For end thereof, not despondency but madness : for when Cossey understood that Hobday had called his wife a tantamount, he waited for him outside, and gave him what he called a pair of clippers over the ear.


tantamount (comparative more tantamount, superlative most tantamount)

  1. Equivalent in meaning or effect.
    It's tantamount to fraud.
    In this view, disagreement and treason are tantamount.
    • De Quincey
      the certainty that delay, under these circumstances, was tantamount to ruin
    • 1981, Del Martin, Battered Wives, page 90:
      [] expecting the woman to take her attacker into physical custody is tantamount to preventing the arrest. If she could handle him, she probably would not need to call the police in the first place.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Tantamount is used almost exclusively in the phrase tantamount to, but may also be used by itself.


  • 2003, In Bosnia, as in Rwanda, however, passive neutrality was tantamount to complicity with the perpetrators of "ethnic cleansing" and mass murder — The New Yorker, 3 March 2003