If two things are basically the same, you can say that they're the equivalent of each other. Like, studying advanced physics is the equivalent of banging your head against the wall.
Equivalent's Latin roots are "equal" and "value," which suggests that the word originally was used to describe things that had the same value. Now it can be used to describe things that have the same effect, or importance, or role — for example, "England's Parliament is the equivalent of America's Congress." It can also be used as an adjective: "Eating a bowl of Sugar Pops for breakfast is equivalent to starting your day with two scoops of ice-cream."
Primary Meanings of equivalent
being essentially equal to something
a person or thing equal to another in value or measure or force or effect or significance etc
the atomic weight of an element that has the same combining capacity as a given weight of another element; the standard is 8 for oxygen
n a person or thing equal to another in value or measure or force or effect or significance etc
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counterpart, opposite number, vis-a-vis
a person or thing having the same function or characteristics as another
a person or thing that takes or can take the place of another
something that resembles or harmonizes with
a bad or unsuitable match
either of two parts that mutually complete each other
an artificial or inferior substitute or imitation
a thing or person that immediately replaces something or someone
(medicine) something that can be used as a substitute (especially any medicine that may be taken in place of another)