English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is there a single verb meaning to make something equivalent to something? I want to use this possibly existent word to express the following:

"We transformed Problem A into the following problem B, which is proved equivalent to Problem A."

share|improve this question
How would you use the word you're asking for? Could you provide a sample sentence with a blank in it? – Andrew Leach Jul 12 '14 at 18:23
I'm more familiar with 'Problem A and Problem B were known to exist; solving problem B was proved to be equivalent to solving problem A'. (Doesn't this arise with Fermat's Last?) – Edwin Ashworth Jul 12 '14 at 20:08
Just say "We proved problem A and problem B were equivalent." Do you need to use a word like "equivalentized"? – Peter Shor Aug 27 '15 at 11:56

Per the Cambridge Dictionary, to equate means:

to consider one thing to be the same as or equal to another thing.

while to equalize (UK: equalise):

to make things or people equal.

To correspond:

to be similar or the same in some way:

share|improve this answer
Depending on context, normalize may also be used. – Wayfaring Stranger Jul 12 '14 at 22:33

To equalize:

  • To make uniform.
  • make equal, uniform, corresponding, or matching: let's equalize the duties among all employees in our office.


share|improve this answer

Mathematicians use rearrange as a verb when they transform one equation into an equivalent equation.

share|improve this answer
Thanks it is mathematics! However, a conjecture is it, rather than an equation. – kwgl Jul 12 '14 at 19:51
@kwgl In that case, reformulate might work (e.g. from Stack Exchange Mathematics: Reformulating the Goldbach conjecture in a quasi-Pythagorean form). – D Krueger Jul 13 '14 at 0:37

In topics such as NP-completeness, the word reduce is used in the following sense:

Reduce transitive verb 9b : to transpose from one form into another : convert - M-W

Interestingly, NP-complete problems are said to reduce to one another. More generally:

In computability theory and computational complexity theory, a many-one reduction is a reduction which converts instances of one decision problem into instances of a second decision problem. - Wikipedia

To say that Problem B reduces to Problem A carries the idea that Problem B can be proved to be equivalent to A.

Note that the negation of the reduce doesn't quite correspond to the negation of the idea. "Problem C does not reduce to Problem D" carries the idea that Problem C can be proved to be different from Problem D. If the equivalence is unknown (i.e. not provably equivalent and not provably different), one can say that Problem E has not been shown to reduce to Problem F.

share|improve this answer

Equivalent and equal are not the same in mathematics. So "equalize" is not acceptable. Is there such a thing as "equivalize" ?

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.