from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The state or quality of being just and fair.
  • noun Something that is just and fair.
  • noun Justice achieved not simply according to the strict letter of the law but in accordance with principles of substantial justice and the unique facts of the case.
  • noun An equitable right or claim.
  • noun Ownership interest in a corporation, property, or other holding, usually calculated as the value of the holding after subtracting any debt or liabilities.
  • noun Shares of common stock or preferred stock.
  • noun The value of a brand's reputation.
  • adjective Representing an ownership interest.
  • adjective Of or relating to stocks.
  • adjective Subordinated to all other claims on income, earnings, or assets.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun That which is equally right or just to all concerned; equal or impartial justice; fairness; impartiality.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun The court or jurisdiction in which these doctrines are applied: as, a suit in equity.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.]
  • noun 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.
  • noun In conveyancing, in the United States, the ownership of or title to real property which is subject to a mortgage: sometimes simply called equity.
  • noun Right, Law, etc. See justice.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun 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.
  • noun (Law) An equitable claim; an equity of redemption
  • noun (Law) A system of jurisprudence, supplemental to law, properly so called, and complemental of it.
  • noun (Law) the advantage, allowed to a mortgageor, of a certain or reasonable time to redeem lands mortgaged, after they have been forfeited at law by the nonpayment of the sum of money due on the mortgage at the appointed time.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Ownership, especially in terms of net monetary value of some business.
  • noun law A legal tradition that deals with remedies other than monetary relief, such as injunctions, divorces and similar actions.
  • noun law Value of property minus liens or other encumbrances.
  • noun accounting Ownership interest in a company as determined by subtracting liabilities from assets.
  • noun Justice, impartiality or fairness.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the difference between the market value of a property and the claims held against it
  • noun conformity with rules or standards
  • noun the ownership interest of shareholders in a corporation


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English equite, from Old French, from Latin aequitās, from aequus, even, fair.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Attested in the 14th Century CE; from Old French equité, from Latin aequitatem ("conformity”, “evenness”, “fairness").


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word equity.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • The current list of synonyms (Sept 9, 2010) only addresses the 'fairness' set of meanings. Not a synonym in sight for the 'what is owned, not owed' set of meanings.

    September 10, 2010