Definition of equilibrium in English:



  • 1A state in which opposing forces or influences are balanced.

    ‘the maintenance of social equilibrium’
    • ‘Among the methods that aim at inferring population parameters, many rely on the hypothesis of equilibrium between mutation, migration, and drift.’
    • ‘The equilibrium between species of resident bacteria provides stability in the microbial population within the same individual under normal conditions.’
    • ‘This necessitates that the steady-state equilibrium between free and LPOR-bound pigment be displaced toward the latter.’
    • ‘The two forces seeking equilibrium are gravity and pressure from the surrounding liquid.’
    • ‘Thus, a balanced opinion is one which establishes an equilibrium between opposing views, ‘weighing’ one set of views against the other.’
    • ‘The equilibrium between these different species might be expected to be influenced by the charge on the liposomes.’
    • ‘When a conflict of norms occurs, some balance, harmony, or form of equilibrium between two or more norms must be found; or, alternatively, one norm overrides the other.’
    • ‘Both Equation 38 and Equation 42 assume Haldane's mapping function and linkage equilibrium between markers and the trait locus.’
    • ‘We observed that over time in KwaZulu Natal the selective sweep reduced in size toward equilibrium between selection and recombination.’
    • ‘The grand coalition is much more based on a laboriously worked out equilibrium between the CDU, CSU and SPD.’
    • ‘A dynamic and nearly balanced equilibrium between opposing forces appears to characterize the situation.’
    • ‘The book is now in equilibrium, the downwards force of gravity is perfectly countered by the upwards force that you are applying to it.’
    • ‘I think as far as the Internet is concerned, we are groping towards the defining equilibrium between crime and defense.’
    • ‘What maintained some uneasy, if unconvincing, equilibrium between the two was the portrayal of the Soviet Cold War threat as a rationalization for American measures in pursuit of both.’
    • ‘The maintenance of equilibrium between limited pluralisms limits the effectiveness of the mobilization and can lead to apathy.’
    • ‘This analysis suggested that the African population is close to equilibrium between mutational forces and genetic drift.’
    • ‘On a larger societal scale, the best way to reach equilibrium between these energies is through a free and open society and free markets.’
    • ‘The unsustainable nature of psi is consistent with the concept that psi effects are a dynamic or fluctuating equilibrium between opposing forces.’
    • ‘Population structure can play an important role in determining the mean fitness of populations at equilibrium between mutation and selection.’
    • ‘However, the steady-state equilibrium between bound and free pigment was largely in favor of the free form.’
    balance, symmetry, equipoise, parity, equality, evenness
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    1. 1.1A state of physical balance.
      ‘I stumbled over a rock and recovered my equilibrium’
      • ‘After we recovered our equilibrium, we walked for miles around this bit of Windsor Park.’
      • ‘It is essential that human beings know their own bodies so well that they can follow the normal daily routine without disturbing the balance or equilibrium of the body.’
      • ‘Once detached from the gland and ring, respectively, the cell and bubble become spherical to achieve physical equilibrium.’
      • ‘Here also it is advisable to upset his physical equilibrium.’
      • ‘Travel sickness, or motion sickness, is an unpleasant, temporary disturbance of your sense of balance and equilibrium that occurs while travelling by sea, road or air.’
      • ‘Earth, unlike the other solar planets, is not in physical equilibrium.’
      • ‘Striking at or otherwise upsetting the center of gravity can cause the object to lose its balance, or equilibrium, and fall to the ground.’
      • ‘The key to good health, according to this theory, is for the energy channels to be unblocked, allowing the energy to surge freely around the body once more so you achieve a state of balance or equilibrium.’
      • ‘His black wings flapped vainly in the wind and water as they tried to regain the precious equilibrium of balance.’
      • ‘The receptor organ of posture and equilibrium is a composite one located in the semicircular canals, the utricle, and the saccule of the inner ear.’
      • ‘An orderly life includes mental as well as physical equilibrium, and shunning all evil thoughts.’
    2. 1.2A calm state of mind.
      ‘his intensity could unsettle his equilibrium’
      • ‘Holders of such rigid views tend to reject any new information that may disturb their cognitive equilibrium.’
      • ‘The traumatic loss of its antennae should deal a devastating blow to the creature's mental equilibrium and may nullify its telepathic abilities.’
      • ‘Inner confidence, optimism, equilibrium and a positive state of the mind - all go a long way to total recovery.’
      • ‘Women who earn more than their husbands are said to be a threat to their spouses' pride and mental equilibrium.’
      • ‘Part of the challenge with a team must be keeping an emotional anchor or equilibrium as exhaustion and physical stress accumulate.’
      • ‘By 1921 he had recovered from heavy dependence on drugs, but he never fully regained mental equilibrium.’
      • ‘She's settling in just fine, and seeing her every few days is helping my mental equilibrium.’
      • ‘My mental equilibrium improves when I resume the repetitive motion of jiggling my knee, or tapping my foot, or lightly kicking the table leg, etc.’
      • ‘As the warm cream circulates back up through the body, the internal organs are purified, the skin becomes radiant, and the equilibrium of body and mind is restored.’
      • ‘But it also restores the mental equilibrium we need to recover after the stresses and strains imposed by daily life.’
      • ‘In that sense, a modest form of depression is like a state of mental equilibrium.’
      • ‘I lay on her couch and marvelled at the effect a humble tuning fork in F sharp could have on one's mental equilibrium.’
      • ‘Rejuvenating a person and enabling him/her to cope better, these techniques re-establish spiritual equilibrium and mental-well being.’
      • ‘He clipped his helmet to his belt and stood swaying while his mind regained its equilibrium.’
      • ‘All such activities lead to achieving perfect mental equilibrium to control the senses.’
      • ‘Usually, a hypoglycemic patient does not manifest a sense of mental equilibrium and tranquillity.’
      • ‘He'd clearly achieved equilibrium as he calmed down until, noticing he wasn't packing his stuff, the checkout woman tried to help him.’
      • ‘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.’
      composure, calmness, calm, equanimity, collectedness, sangfroid, coolness
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    3. 1.3Chemistry 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’
      • ‘The current ozone layer is as a result of equilibrium between breakdown and recombination.’
      • ‘Therefore, the metastable equilibrium between iron and iron carbide should be considered, because it is relevant to the behavior of most steels in practice.’
      • ‘For most substances, increasing the pressure when a system is in equilibrium between liquid and solid phases will increase the phase transition temperature.’
      • ‘The maximum concentration of ions in the solution is in equilibrium with the precipitated solid.’
      • ‘The time it would take to reach energy equilibrium between the meditator and the tub water would depend on the rate of energy transfer and ability of water to retain this energy.’
    4. 1.4Economics A situation in which supply and demand are matched and prices stable.
      • ‘A complex system is likely to spend more time in dis-equilibrium than in equilibrium.’
      • ‘There has been a huge increase in supply and now the levels of supply and demand are in equilibrium.’
      • ‘The trade balance reached equilibrium or surplus only under conditions of deep recession.’
      • ‘There appears to be equilibrium in demand supply.’
      • ‘In such a model, prices are in equilibrium at every moment, even when equilibrium prices are changing over time.’


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