Equity is the name of the Actor's Union in the UK (the equivalent of the Screen Actors Guild in the US). An Equity card is a very highly prized item as far as actors are concerned (required I believe for a speaking part in TV Drama etc.).

Amongst other things Equity are the people who ensure that no two actors in the UK use the same stage name. The name on your Equity card is the name that goes on any of your credits.

Equity can also denote ownership. When you buy a house, you are said to gain equity. Equity is basically considered an asset, and the value of your home (or any other major asset you own, like a car), less any debt outstanding on it (a mortgage, usually, or maybe other financing for a car or boat) is the amount of equity you have. This is mostly important when talking to a bank or applying for credit - they'll consider not only the amount of money you have saved up, but also any equity you have in your home or other assets as being part of your net worth. That's why you might hear the term homeowner's loan, or home equity loan - those are loans secured by someone's equity in their home.

The stock markets are often called the equity markets, and stocks are also called equities, because stock in a company is part-ownership.

Equity is the British Trades Union that represents professional entertainers. It was formed in 1930 as the British Actors' Equity Association by a London based group of actors, but since those days its reach has expanded to include virtually every conceivable branch of the British entertainment industry including theatre directors, designers, presenters (both television and radio), stunt performers, circus artists etc etc. That is everyone bar professional musicians who have their own separate union.

Its formal registered name is in fact the "British Actors Equity Association incorporating the Variety Artistes Federation", which is a bit of a mouthful. Hence it is universally known as simply "Equity". It serves much the same purpose as the American Screen Actors Guild, but the scope of its membership as noted above, is much wider.

Eq"ui*ty (?), n.; pl. Equities (#). [F. 'equit'e, L. aequitas, fr. aequus even, equal. See Equal.]


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.

Christianity secures both the private interests of men and the public peace, enforcing all justice and equity. Tillotson.

2. Law

An equitable claim; an equity of redemption; as, an equity to a settlement, or wife's equity, etc.

I consider the wife's equity to be too well settled to be shaken. Kent.

3. Law

A system of jurisprudence, supplemental to law, properly so called, and complemental of it.

Equity had been gradually shaping itself into a refined science which no human faculties could master without long and intense application. Macaulay.

⇒ 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.

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.


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


© Webster 1913.

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