Equivalent Definition and Legal Meaning
On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Equivalent, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.
What is Equivalent?
n., adj. equal in value, force or meaning.
History and Meaning of Equivalent
The term "equivalent" comes from the Latin word "aequivalentem," which means "equal in force, power or quantity." In legal terms, equivalent refers to something that is of the same value, worth or meaning. The concept of equivalence comes into play when determining the legal significance of something in relation to something else.
Thus, in a legal context, if two things are found to be equivalent, they are deemed to have the same legal effect or outcome. This concept is important in various branches of law, including contract law, where parties may agree to substitute one item for another of equal value, or in criminal law, where a court may consider one punishment as equivalent to another.
Examples of Equivalent
- If two parties agree to substitute one item for another of equal value, they are said to have traded equivalents.
- In patent law, if two inventions are found to be functionally equivalent, they are deemed to be infringing on each other.
- In contract law, if damages cannot be calculated precisely, a court may award the plaintiff money damages in an amount equivalent to the loss suffered.
Legal Terms Similar to Equivalent
- Equal - something that is the same as or equivalent to something else in quantity, value, rank or quality.
- Commensurate - describes something that is of the same scope, extent, or duration as something else.
- Same - something that is identical or equivalent to something else in every way.