EQ'UITY, noun [Latin oequitas, from oequus, equal, even, level.]
1. Justice; right. In practice, equity is the impartial distribution of justice, or the doing that to another which the laws of God and man, and of reason, give him a right to claim. It is the treating of a person according to justice and reason.
The Lord shall judge the people with equity Psalms 98:9.
With righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity Isaiah 11:4.
2. Justice; impartiality; a just regard to right or claim; as, we must, in equity allow this claim.
3. In law, an equitable claim. 'I consider the wife's equity to be too well settled to be shaken.'
4. In jurisprudence, the correction or qualification of law, when too severe or defective; or the extension of the words of the law to cases not expressed, yet coming within the reason of the law. Hence a court of equity or chancery, is a court which corrects the operation of the literal text of the law, and supplies its defects, by reasonable construction, and by rules of proceeding and deciding, which are not admissible in a court of law. equity then is the law of reason, exercised by the chancellor or judge, giving remedy in cases to which the courts of law are not competent.
5. equity of redemption, in law, the advantage, allowed to a mortgager, of a reasonable time to redeem lands mortgaged, when the estate is of greater value than the sum for which it was mortgaged.