# equivalent weight

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## weight

[wāt]
1. heaviness; the degree to which a body is drawn toward the earth by gravity. (See also Tables of Weights and Measures in the Appendix.) Abbreviated wt.
2. in statistics, the process of assigning greater importance to some observations than to others, or a mathematical factor used to apply such a process.
apothecaries' weight see apothecaries' system.
atomic weight the sum of the masses of the constituents of an atom, expressed in atomic mass units (or daltons), in SI units (i.e., kilograms), or as a dimensionless ratio derived by comparing the mass to the mass of an atom of carbon-12, which is taken as 12.000. Abbreviated At wt.
avoirdupois weight see avoirdupois system.
equivalent weight the amount of substance that combines with or displaces 8.0 g of oxygen (or 1.008 g of hydrogen), usually expressed in grams; for acid/base reactions, one equivalent donates or receives a mole of protons and the equivalent weight is the ratio of the molecular weight to the number of protons involved in the reaction. For oxidation-reduction reactions, one equivalent donates or receives a mole of electrons and the equivalent weight is the ratio of the molecular weight to the number of electrons involved in the reaction.
gram molecular weight the molecular weight of a substance expressed in grams; one gram molecular weight of a molecular substance contains one mole of molecules. See also mole1.
low birth weight (LBW) see under infant.
molecular weight the weight of a molecule of a chemical compound as compared with the weight of an atom of carbon-12; it is equal to the sum of the weights of its constituent atoms and is dimensionless. Abbreviated Mol wt or MW. Although widely used, the term is not technically correct; relative molecular mass is preferable.
very low birth weight (VLBW) see under infant.

## gram e·quiv·a·lent

1. the weight in grams of an element that combines with or replaces 1 g of hydrogen;
2. the atomic or molecular weight in grams of an atom or group of atoms involved in a chemical reaction divided by the number of electrons donated, taken up, or shared by the atom or group of atoms in the course of that reaction;
3. the weight of a substance contained in 1 L of 1 n solution; a variant of (1).

## equivalent weight

Etymology: L, a + aequus + valere, equal value; AS, gewiht
1 the weight of an element in any given unit (such as grams) that will displace a unit weight of hydrogen from a compound or combine with or replace a unit weight of hydrogen.
2 the weight of an acid or base that will produce or react with 1.008 grams of hydrogen ion.
3 the weight of an oxidizing or reducing agent that will produce or accept one electron in a chemical reaction.

## weight

heaviness; the degree to which a body is drawn toward the earth by gravity. See also Tables 4.1 and 4.2.

apothecaries' weight
an outmoded system of weight used in compounding prescriptions based on the grain (equivalent 64.8 mg). Its units are the scruple (20 grains), dram (3 scruples), ounce (8 drams) and pound (12 ounces). See also Tables 4.2 and 4.3.
atomic weight
the weight of an atom of a chemical element, compared with the weight of an atom of carbon-12, which is taken as 12.00000.
avoirdupois weight
the system of weight still used for ordinary commodities in some English-speaking countries. Its units are the dram (27.344 grains), ounce (16 drams) and pound (16 ounces).
birth weight
weight of the newborn at the time of birth.
body weight
the animal's weight. In herbivores this is often debatable because of the variation in 'gut-fill' depending on the availability of palatable food. In the absence of scales the weights of large animals are often estimated on the basis of their age and their girth just behind the elbow. Called also liveweight. See also body condition score.
body weight-to-surface area
determination of many drug dosages is physiologically more accurate when based on body surface area rather than body weight; used particularly in cancer chemotherapy. For conversion table for use in dogs see Table 21.
equivalent weight
the weight in grams of a substance that is equivalent in a chemical reaction to 1.008 g of hydrogen. See also chemical equivalent.
weight gain
increase in body weight for specific periods; the principal measure of productivity in meat animals.
weight loss
the loss of body weight from that previously measured. This estimate must take into account the difference in 'gut-fill' and the effects of developing pregnancy and recent parturition.
metric weight
see Tables 4.1 and 4.2.
molecular weight
the weight of a molecule of a chemical compound as compared with the weight of an atom of carbon-12; it is equal to the sum of the weights of its constituent atoms. Abbreviated mol. wt. See also Table 6.
shifting weight limb to limb
sign indicative of lameness especially in horses; while standing the horse is continually shifting its weight from one limb to the opposite one of the pair.
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