When someone, by way of analogy, says that A is equivalent to B, I would like to say (if I don't agree), "I don't like that equivocation".

However, that statement is wrong because equivocation doesn't mean "the act of making two things equal"; it means something else. What is the correct word to use?

  • I think the word you're after is equation, but I suspect you won't like that word. Why not just say, "No it isn't." "No, I don't think it is." "I'm pretty sure that's not true." "I'm not sure that's true." "In what way is that true?"
    – Jim
    Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 3:51
  • I laughed out loud when I saw this question, because at my work we use the word "equival" on a regular basis. For reasons specific to our products, we often have to talk about one item being equivalent to another, and we say "X equivals Y", or "those don't equival." It's a word that needs to exist.
    – barbecue
    Commented Aug 29, 2015 at 23:23
  • Its perhaps worth mentionning equipollence, a bit archaic word which means "equality between two or more propositions, as when two propositions have the same meaning but are expressed differently".
    – Graffito
    Commented Aug 29, 2015 at 23:34
  • I have found equivalence as a verb on the internet. If OED licenses this (other dictionaries don't seem to), then the gerund equivalencing is available. Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 18:43
  • "A is equivalent to B" "Only when you normalize with respect to their different..." oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/normalize Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 23:07

4 Answers 4


Is there some thing wrong with "You are wrong to equate the two."?

equate - Consider (one thing) to be the same as or equivalent to another; Cause (two or more things) to be the same in quantity or value

  • 2
    If that act you're looking for is the act of asserting that they are equal, this is your answer. Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 4:40

I disagree with that equivalence.

  • @tchrist - Forgive me if I roll back your edit. I like bold for the proposed word because then it jumps off the page and makes it easier to skim through the page taking in the various proposals quickly. I see a lot of people using bold that way. If you want to propose a site guideline for how to format answers... may I invite you to do that at Meta? Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 17:59
  • We have something on meta about using italic for mentions. I'll see if I can find it.
    – tchrist
    Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 18:00
  • 1
    @tchrist - Thanks. Do you see what I mean, that it would be helpful to have one central place to collect all the various guidelines that have been agreed to informally through consensus over the years? Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 18:01
  • 1
    Here it is.
    – tchrist
    Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 18:01
  • 1
    @tchrist, @‍aparente001, Definitely useful to have a proper "Guide to new user" page. The FAQ is missing many guidelines and the current situation has 5 years (and growing) of instruction creep and meta wading. The link is so tough to find (unless the specific keywords are already known after having read that page) that there's only 562 views in 4 years. Even if all 562 views were positive hits, there's still 80k remaining users who had never read (or even loaded) that page.
    – Pacerier
    Commented Sep 27, 2015 at 16:40

A is equivalent to B is an assertion. Disputing it is not the "act of making two things equivalent/equal". It's the act of saying, "No they aren't".

Disputing the assertion

You could say

No, their relationship is an inequality


  • Difference in size, degree, circumstances, etc.; lack of equality OED

  • The condition of being unequal; lack of equality; disparity: Dictionary.com

  • A relation that holds between two values when they are different WP

or simply say

A is not equivalent to B

A word for the act

I don't know any word that specifically refers only to two things being made equal. However,


Be in agreement or harmony with; match: the punishment should fit the crime OED

For example, my answer could be less long winded if you would make your first paragraph fit your question title and second paragraph.


The word in statistics is correlation.

Let's say there are two multi-dimensional entities A and B.

In order to find their similarities, we need to be able to observe and compare their dimensions. But what is a dimension, except thro the information emanating from an entity.

We correlate their information to find similarities, dependencies or interdependencies. If their information is highly correlated, we would say they have a high degree of similarities.

In social and behavioural science, you will also hear behavioural analysts say that someone's mental and behavioural characteristics correlate highly to a particular mental or developmental disorder.

Or biological pathologists saying that a particular outbreak has been closely correlated to a previously encountered strain, so much that they are similar or the same strain.

Perhaps, even when your friends joke about a disliked colleague, "Her behaviour correlates closely to that of a <<unkind word>>."

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