Equipollence and Equipollent are missing from Etymonline

I found defininitions elsewhere but was looking forward to digging into the etymology.

I’ve read math, logic and metaphysical uses of the words.

American Heritage 4th edition has a tiny etymology for equipollent:

“[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin aequipollēns , aequipollent- : aequi-, equi- + pollēns, present participle of pollēre, to be powerful.]”

I hoped for more elaborate discriptions.

Indeed, Equipollence and Equipollent remain unlisted in Etymonline. Surprising, as both are employed in geometry and in general usage.

Took a quick look into this and it honestly turned out more interesting than I expected. Etymology for the first part of the word can of course be found at the ‘equal’ entry. Looking to Wiktionary for the second part leads to an entry for the Latin ‘polleo’ which has ‘strength’ related meanings.

This polleo root word does not seem very common in contemporary English and I couldn’t really find any other examples of surviving usage which I thought was notable.

All that aside, I am not surprised this is missing from etymonline for the same reason that I would not give it high priority for being added. Equipollence seems to be a quite uncommon word that only really survives in technical jargon. Many more common words would need to be added first before attention would be justified.

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Looking a little deeper and I realized this seems to tie back to the PIE root ‘*pele-’. You might find looking at the derived words in that entry insightful.

It’s also used in philosophy but I read it in a religious work and wanted to know more about it.

It’s also used in philosophy. I read it in a religious work and wanted to know more about it.

Where do you see that? Looks normal to me.

Interesting. What work did you read it in?

Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, p. 110. (Copyrighted 1875, renewed 1903, extended 1917, then renewed 1918,1922,1929, 1934). I think it entered the public domain in the mid 1980s.

“Thus it was that I beheld, as never before, the awful unreality called evil. The equipollence of God brought to light another glorious proposition, — man’s perfectibility and the establishment of the kingdom of heaven on earth.”

Correction 01/11/24: page 114 was wrong; corrected to page 110. Kindle incorrectly stated it was on 114. I blame Kindle. :slight_smile:

This brings up an issue that will probably be persistent in this forum.

It’s a sort of irony that rare words both encourage the reader’s curiosity and discourage etymological attention.

Perhaps there is a way that this site can better tell readers to not expect to find uncommon words here.