From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Equity \Eq"ui*ty\, n.; pl. Equities. [F. ['e]quit['e], L.
   aequitas, fr. aequus even, equal. See Equal.]
   1. Equality of rights; natural justice or right; the giving,
      or desiring to give, to each man his due, according to
      reason, and the law of God to man; fairness in
      determination of conflicting claims; impartiality.
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            Christianity secures both the private interests of
            men and the public peace, enforcing all justice and
            equity.                               --Tillotson.
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   2. (Law) An equitable claim; an equity of redemption; as, an
      equity to a settlement, or wife's equity, etc.
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            I consider the wife's equity to be too well settled
            to be shaken.                         --Kent.
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   3. (Law) A system of jurisprudence, supplemental to law,
      properly so called, and complemental of it.
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            Equity had been gradually shaping itself into a
            refined science which no human faculties could
            master without long and intense application.
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   Note: Equitable jurisprudence in England and in the United
         States grew up from the inadequacy of common-law forms
         to secure justice in all cases; and this led to
         distinct courts by which equity was applied in the way
         of injunctions, bills of discovery, bills for specified
         performance, and other processes by which the merits of
         a case could be reached more summarily or more
         effectively than by common-law suits. By the recent
         English Judicature Act (1873), however, the English
         judges are bound to give effect, in common-law suits,
         to all equitable rights and remedies; and when the
         rules of equity and of common law, in any particular
         case, conflict, the rules of equity are to prevail. In
         many jurisdictions in the United States, equity and
         common law are thus blended; in others distinct equity
         tribunals are still maintained. See Chancery.
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   Equity of redemption (Law), the advantage, allowed to a
      mortgageor, of a certain or reasonable time to redeem
      lands mortgaged, after they have been forfeited at law by
      the nonpayment of the sum of money due on the mortgage at
      the appointed time. --Blackstone.

   Syn: Right; justice; impartiality; rectitude; fairness;
        honesty; uprightness. See Justice.
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