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From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary
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noun, plural: equilibriums or equilibria

(1) The condition in which all acting influences are balanced or canceled by equal opposing forces, resulting in a stable system

(2) The state of balance or static; the absence of net tendency to change


In general, equilibrium pertains to the condition of achieving balanced thereby resulting in a stable system.

In biology, the term equilibrium may pertain to varying concepts. Some of them are as follows: equilibrioception, genetic equilibrium, homeostatic equilibrium, nutritive equilibrium, punctuated equilibrium, and equilibrium theory.

Equilibrioception is the sense of balance. It is a physiological sense in humans and animals to prevent them from falling over as they move or stand. It entails visual system, vestibular system, and proprioception working together to achieve balance.

Genetic equilibrium is a condition where a gene pool is not changing in frequency because the evolutionary forces acting upon the allele are equal, thus, resulting in a population to not evolve even after several generations.

Homeostatic equilibrium is the state of equilibrium in homeostasis in organisms. It entails physiological regulations of the internal environment.

Nutritive equilibrium is the state of balance between intake and excretion of nutritive material, thus, there is no increase or loss in weight.

Punctuated equilibrium is a theory describing an evolutionary change happening rapidly and in brief geological events in between the long periods of stasis (or equilibrium).

Equilibrium theory is a theory that attempts to explain biodiversity character of ecological islands

Word origin: Latin aequilībrium, aequi-, equi (equal)- + lībra (balance)


  • balance
  • stability
  • steadiness
  • equipoise

See also:

Related terms: