Definition of equation in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈkwāZHən/


1 Mathematics A statement that the values of two mathematical expressions are equal (indicated by the sign =).
Example sentences
  • It also contains continued fractions, quadratic equations, sums of power series and a table of sines.
  • When I pressed him to write an equation expressing the value for a, he insisted that he would need a symbol for within.
  • Now express the pattern as a mathematical equation.
mathematical problem, sum, calculation, question
2The process of equating one thing with another: the equation of science with objectivity
More example sentences
  • As relationships go, I realized this simple equation of life.
  • I feel that I have developed some sort of equation with them.
  • And can you tell us, are you concerned about second-guessing on that whole equation?
identification, association, connection, matching;
equivalence, correspondence, agreement, comparison
2.1 (the equation) A situation or problem in which several factors must be taken into account: money also came into the equation
More example sentences
  • Another factor in the equation: Used equipment must compete with new equipment in the marketplace.
  • Once all that is figured out, the most confusing factor in the equation must be pondered: playing time.
  • When pressure of competition was factored into the equation, the situation changed.
situation, problem, case, question;
quandary, predicament
3 Chemistry A symbolic representation of the changes that occur in a chemical reaction, expressed in terms of the formulae of the molecules or other species involved.
Example sentences
  • When hydrolysis occurs, we will write a chemical equation to describe it, and new species will be formed in solution.
  • The chemical equations for some reactions may have a lone reactant or a single product.
  • I asked as I balanced a chemical equation and answered some questions.


equation of the first order, (second order, etc.)

Mathematics An equation involving only the first derivative, second derivative, etc.
Example sentences
  • His doctoral dissertation was on the theory of the propeller which led to his developing a theory of partial differential equations of the second order.
  • This integral was introduced in a paper on differential equations of the second order which he wrote in 1870.
  • Special attention should be drawn also to his little known pamphlet on regular point of linear differential equations of the second order used for a number of years in connection with one of his courses of lectures.


Late Middle English: from Latin aequatio(n-), from aequare 'make equal' (see equate).

Words that rhyme with equation

abrasion, Australasian, Eurasian, evasion, invasion, occasion, persuasion, pervasion, suasion, Vespasian

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: e·qua·tion

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