If you were having trouble choosing between chocolate cake and an ice cream sundae because you love both equally, you might say these two treats have an equivalence.

The noun equivalence describes the state of being equal, and it can be used any time things are basically interchangeable. If you came down with a stomach bug and there were three different medicines your doctor could prescribe — any one of them being likely to cure you — they would have an equivalence. In math, the word equivalence comes up a lot, and it's always represented by an equal sign.

Definitions of equivalence

n essential equality and interchangeability

not interchangeable
functional equality
Type of:
the quality of being the same in quantity or measure or value or status

n a state of being essentially equal or equivalent; equally balanced

equality, equation, par
egalite, egality
social and political equality
equality of score in a contest
a tie in tennis or table tennis that requires winning two successive points to win the game
Type of:
position, status
the relative position or standing of things or especially persons in a society

n qualities that are comparable

comparability, compare, comparison
Type of:
alikeness, likeness, similitude
similarity in appearance or character or nature between persons or things

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