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[ee-kwuh-lahy-zer] /ˈi kwəˌlaɪ zər/
a person or thing that equalizes.
any of various devices or appliances for equalizing strains, pressures, etc.
Electricity. an electric network of inductance, capacitance, or resistance established between two points in a given network to secure some constant relation, as even attenuation, between the two points.
Slang. a weapon, as a pistol, blackjack, or switchblade knife.
Origin of equalizer
1785-95; equalize + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for equalizer
  • From adolescence to high school to college, the technology literally becomes almost this great equalizer.
  • Scholarship is the great equalizer when one is considering faculty promotions to full professor and the ideas don't matter.
  • Guns are the great equalizer because you are quite wrong about one thing.
  • Such information, if you can get it, is a great equalizer.
  • The future of higher education as a public good or as the great equalizer has been called into question.
  • Education is a great equalizer, and is the only way for people who are poor to advance.
  • It's an equalizer and an important tool for empowerment.
  • The array eliminates crossover distortion, though it requires an included equalizer.
  • Because of this, science is inherently antiauthoritarian, and a great equalizer of political power.
  • As the room filled up, it was tempting to view genetics as a great equalizer.
British Dictionary definitions for equalizer


a person or thing that equalizes, esp a device to counterbalance opposing forces
an electronic network introduced into a transmission circuit to alter its response, esp to reduce distortion by equalizing its response over a specified frequency range
(sport) a goal, point, etc, that levels the score
(US, slang) a weapon, esp a gun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for equalizer

1792, agent noun from equalize. Sports sense attested by 1930; in the U.S. underworld slang sense of "pistol," it is from c.1900.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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equalizer in Science
An electronic device made of filters and amplifiers, used to alter the relative strengths of different frequencies in an electronic signal. Equalizers are used primarily in audio equipment, allowing fine-tuning of the signal to compensate for distortions such as weak response or oversensitivity at various frequencies. ◇ A graphic equalizer uses a set of controls that determine the level of boost or suppression of individual frequencies. The controls are usually sliding faders, set up in a row from lowest frequency to highest frequency, so that the final settings resemble a graph of the frequency response of the equalizer. ◇ A parametric equalizer consists of one or more filters whose characteristics can be controlled, such as the frequency to be manipulated, whether to boost or suppress the frequency, the amount of boost or suppression, and how much nearby frequencies are also affected.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for equalizer



A pistol or other firearm; the DIFFERENCE (1900+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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