Share this entry
equation Line breaks: equa|tion
Pronunciation: /ɪˈkweɪʒ(ə)n/

Definition of equation in English:


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;
2 [mass noun] The 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?
equating, equalization, identification, association, connection, likening, matching;
equivalence, likeness, identity, correspondence, agreement, comparison, balance, balancing
2.1 (the equation) A situation 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.
the situation, the problem, the case, the question, the quandary, the predicament
3 Chemistry A symbolic representation of the changes which 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 (or second etc.) order
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
Definition of equation in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources