equivalents; equivalently

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."

Definitions of equivalent
  1. adjective
    being essentially equal to something
    “a wish that was equivalent to a command”
    synonyms: tantamount
    having the same quantity, value, or measure as another
  2. noun
    a person or thing equal to another in value, measure, force, effect, significance, etc.
    “send two dollars or the equivalent in stamps”
    see moresee less
    show 8 types...
    hide 8 types...
    counterpart, opposite number, vis-a-vis
    a person or thing having the same function or characteristics as another
    replacement, substitute
    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)
    type of:
    cognition, knowledge, noesis
    the psychological result of perception and learning and reasoning
  3. noun
    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
    synonyms: combining weight, eq, equivalent weight
    see moresee less
    type of:
    atomic mass, atomic weight, relative atomic mass
    (chemistry) the mass of an atom of a chemical element expressed in atomic mass units
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘equivalent'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
Word Family

Look up equivalent for the last time

Close your vocabulary gaps with personalized learning that focuses on teaching the words you need to know.

VocabTrainer -'s Vocabulary Trainer