Meaning of EQUATION in English


ēˈkwāzhən, ə̇ˈ- also -āsh- noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English equacioun, from Latin aequation-, aequatio, from aequatus + -ion-, -io -ion


a. : the act or process of equating : equalization

the equation of service pay and civilian wages

equation of colors

: identification

the king's equation of himself with his country


(1) : a quantity added or subtracted in equating a computation

equation of the equinoxes

(2) : an element affecting a process : factor

solely on the merits of their performances on that occasion, and no other equations should enter into his decisions — W.F.Brown b. 1903

(3) : a complex of variable factors

sociologists … taking into account motives, values, norms, ends — the whole social equation that fundamentalists in science have considered merely a source of error — H.J.Muller

— compare human equation , personal equation

c. : a state of being equated : balance

diplomats who work out the delicate equations of power

specifically : a state of association or identification of two or more things

the dreamer … can put into symbolic equation any two diverse things — Weston La Barre

2. : a usually formal statement of equivalence:

a. : a statement of equality between two mathematical expressions (as numbers, functions, magnitudes, operations), the sign = usually being placed between them

b. : an expression representing a chemical reaction quantitatively by means of chemical symbols, the formulas of the reacting substances being placed on the left and those of the products on the right of the sign → or = or of the sign ⇄ or ⇌ if the reaction is reversible all of which signs should be read “give,” not “are equal to”


(1) logic : a formal expression of the sameness of reference of two expressions

(2) symbolic logic : the expression of a proposition or of the relation between propositions in a form analogous to an algebraic equation

d. : the mathematical expression of the proportions in which color stimuli must be mixed for equation of colors

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.