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equilibrium

Syllabification: e·qui·lib·ri·um
Pronunciation: /ˌēkwəˈlibrēəm
 
, ˌekwəˈlibrēəm
 
/

Definition of equilibrium in English:

noun (plural equilibria /-ˈlibrēə/)

1A state in which opposing forces or influences are balanced: the maintenance of social equilibrium
More example sentences
  • A dynamic and nearly balanced equilibrium between opposing forces appears to characterize the situation.
  • The unsustainable nature of psi is consistent with the concept that psi effects are a dynamic or fluctuating equilibrium between opposing forces.
  • This analysis suggested that the African population is close to equilibrium between mutational forces and genetic drift.
Synonyms
balance, symmetry, equipoise, parity, equality;
stability
1.1A state of physical balance: I stumbled over a rock and recovered my equilibrium
More example sentences
  • An orderly life includes mental as well as physical equilibrium, and shunning all evil thoughts.
  • Earth, unlike the other solar planets, is not in physical equilibrium.
  • Once detached from the gland and ring, respectively, the cell and bubble become spherical to achieve physical equilibrium.
1.2A calm state of mind: his intensity could unsettle his equilibrium
More example sentences
  • It might appear from the above that postures, breathing techniques and sensory control automatically purge the mind of distractions and bring about equilibrium and calm.
  • I certainly felt bound to the river for restoring my equilibrium, for calming my senses and for providing me with an escape from the city.
  • He'd clearly achieved equilibrium as he calmed down until, noticing he wasn't packing his stuff, the checkout woman tried to help him.
Synonyms
1.3 Chemistry A state in which a process and its reverse are occurring at equal rates so that no overall change is taking place: ice is in equilibrium with water
More example sentences
  • The maximum concentration of ions in the solution is in equilibrium with the precipitated solid.
  • Therefore, the metastable equilibrium between iron and iron carbide should be considered, because it is relevant to the behavior of most steels in practice.
  • The current ozone layer is as a result of equilibrium between breakdown and recombination.
1.4 Economics A situation in which supply and demand are matched and prices stable.
Example sentences
  • There has been a huge increase in supply and now the levels of supply and demand are in equilibrium.
  • In such a model, prices are in equilibrium at every moment, even when equilibrium prices are changing over time.
  • There appears to be equilibrium in demand supply.

Origin

early 17th century (in the sense 'well-balanced state of mind'): from Latin aequilibrium, from aequi- 'equal'+ libra 'balance'.

Derivatives

equilibrial

1
Pronunciation: /-ˈlibrēəl/
adjective
Example sentences
  • Cenozoic mammals of North America exhibited equilibrial diversity for approximately 55 Myr (Eocene-Pleistocene), with strong local interactions limiting diversity in local assemblages.
  • If mortality schedules subsequent to recruitment are strongly density-dependent, pulses of high recruitment will be followed by enhanced mortality and the standing population will remain at or close to an equilibrial size.
  • Some of the chapter authors refine these definitions somewhat to reflect current usage, for example, defining a regulated population in terms of a stationary probability distribution rather than an equilibrial density.

Definition of equilibrium in:

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