Definition of equilibrium in English:


Line breaks: equi|lib¦rium
Pronunciation: /ˌiːkwɪˈlɪbrɪəm
, ˌɛkwɪ-/

noun (plural equilibria /-rɪə/)

[mass noun]
  • 1A state in which opposing forces or influences are balanced: the task is 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.
    balance, symmetry, equipoise, parity, equality, evenness; stability, steadiness
  • 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.
  • 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: the market is in equilibrium [as modifier]: the equilibrium level of income
    More 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.



More 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.


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

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