American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The state, quality, or ideal of being just, impartial, and fair.
- n. Something that is just, impartial, and fair.
- n. Law Justice applied in circumstances covered by law yet influenced by principles of ethics and fairness.
- n. Law A system of jurisprudence supplementing and serving to modify the rigor of common law.
- n. Law An equitable right or claim.
- n. Law Equity of redemption.
- n. The residual value of a business or property beyond any mortgage thereon and liability therein.
- n. The market value of securities less any debt incurred.
- n. Common stock and preferred stock.
- n. Funds provided to a business by the sale of stock.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. That which is equally right or just to all concerned; equal or impartial justice; fairness; impartiality.
- n. In law: Fairness in the adjustment of conflicting interests; the application of the dictates of good conscience to the settlement of controversies: often called natural equity.
- n. The system of jurisprudence or body of doctrines and rules as to what is equitable and fair and what is not, by which the defects of, and the incidental hardships resulting from, the inflexibility of the forms and the universality of the rules of the common-law tribunals are corrected or remedied, and substantial justice is done. In the early history of the English people it was found, as society advanced, that many grievances arose which were not included in the classes of cases which the common law authorized the judges to take cognizance of. Hence it became customary for those who could not obtain redress in the courts, because no common-law action appropriate to their grievance had been sanctioned, or because the common law, while equitable and fair in its general application, was unfair in its application to their particular case, to apply to the king in Parliament or in council for justice. Petitioners in such cases (if it could be shown that there was no adequate remedy at law, or that the operation of the common law was unfair in its application to the particular case in hand) were referred to the chancellor (originally an ecclesiastic), the keeper of the king's conscience, who, after hearing the parties, required what was equitable and just to be done, under penalty of imprisonment, excommunication, etc. Thus, the common-law remedy of collecting a debt by getting judgment and execution became established at a time when property consisted almost entirely of lands and goods; but as wealth increased, and appeared in the forms of intangible property, such as valuable rights in action, contracts, securities, patents, copyrights, etc., the chancellor would entertain a complaint (called a bill in equity) from a creditor, setting forth that he was unable to collect his judgment out of property that could be reached by legal process, and that the debtor had other property which ought to be applied in payment, and asking that the defendant be compelled to do what equity and good conscience required to be done. The chancellor (the Court of Chancery) could compel the debtor to assign his intangible property to a receiver, a mode of relief which the law had never conferred on a sheriff the power to afford. Or if a creditor, to secure his demand, obtained from his debtor a deed which in terms was an absolute conveyance, and was proceeding to enforce it as if it were so intended, the Court of Chancery would entertain a complaint from the debtor offering to pay the debt, and asking to be allowed to redeem the land. The steady growth of the complexities of property and of business and social relations increased the cases requiring equitable remedies to supply the deficiency of common-law remedies, or equitable interference with the unconscionable enforcement of common-law rules, until the procedure in equity developed a substantive system of doctrines and remedies covering a great variety of subjects scarcely contemplated by the common law. In England and the United States the doctrines of the common law have now generally been subjected to the established modifications introduced by equity, and in many jurisdictions the two systems of rules thus merged and modified are administered by the same courts. This new system is generally known in the United States as the code practice, or the new or reformed procedure.
- n. The court or jurisdiction in which these doctrines are applied: as, a suit in equity.
- n. An equitable right; that to which one is justly entitled; specifically, a right recognized by courts of equity which the common law did not provide for: as, the wife's equity, or her right, when her husband sought to enforce his common-law claim to reduce her property to his own possession, to have a portion of it settled on herself.
- n. The remaining interest belonging to one who has pledged or mortgaged his property, or the surplus of value which may remain after the property has been disposed of for the satisfaction of liens. [U. S.]
- n. A right or obligation incident to a property or contract as between two persons, but not incident to the property or contract from its own nature. In this sense used in the plural.
- n. In conveyancing, in the United States, the ownership of or title to real property which is subject to a mortgage: sometimes simply called equity.
- n. Right, Law, etc. See justice.
- n. Ownership, especially in terms of net monetary value of some business.
- n. law A legal tradition that deals with remedies other than monetary relief, such as injunctions, divorces and similar actions.
- n. law Value of property minus liens or other encumbrances.
- n. accounting Ownership interest in a company as determined by subtracting liabilities from assets.
- n. Justice, impartiality or fairness.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Equality of rights; natural justice or right; the giving, or desiring to give, to each man his due, according to reason, and the law of God to man; fairness in determination of conflicting claims; impartiality.
- n. (Law) An equitable claim; an equity of redemption
- n. (Law) A system of jurisprudence, supplemental to law, properly so called, and complemental of it.
- n. the difference between the market value of a property and the claims held against it
- n. conformity with rules or standards
- n. the ownership interest of shareholders in a corporation
- Attested in the 14th Century CE; from Old French equité, from Latin aequitatem ("conformity”, “evenness”, “fairness"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English equite, from Old French, from Latin aequitās, from aequus, even, fair. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Major Abbot said, "people err greatly in reference to my court -- some think it is a court of law -- _but it is not a court of law_; some think it is a court of equity -- _but it is not a court of equity_.”
“But, an increase in equity is of little value to a homeowner, unless the homeowner decides to convert that equity to cash by selling the property (or using it as loan collateral).”
“I bought by house four years ago with 5% down, and I think my equity is about equal to the brokerage fee.”
“This is what we call equity; people regard it as just; it is, in fact, the sort of justice which goes beyond the written law.”
“Kendall resisted, and sought what he called equity by placing his case before the London company.”
“I am a passionate supporter of that style of feminism, which I call equity feminism.”
“It just changes who the liability "equity" is payable to.”
“Enel Chief Executive Fulvio Conti previously said he expects to raise at least € 3 billion, tallying with analyst estimates that Enel Green Power's equity is worth roughly € 9 billion.”
“Rather, it will present a detailed account of the events that day, showing that a confluence of factors led to the plunge that wiped out roughly $862 billion in equity-market value in less than 20 minutes.”
“The equity is also resting on long-term support at its 20-month trendline.”
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