# Equivalence relation

In mathematics, an **equivalence relation** is a binary relation that is reflexive, symmetric and transitive. The relation *is equal to* is the canonical example of an equivalence relation.

Transitive binary relations | ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
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indicates that the column's property is required by the definition of the row's term (at the very left). For example, the definition of an equivalence relation requires it to be symmetric. All definitions tacitly require the homogeneous relation be transitive: for all if and then and there are additional properties that a homogeneous relation may satisfy. |

Each equivalence relation provides a partition of the underlying set into disjoint equivalence classes. Two elements of the given set are equivalent to each other if and only if they belong to the same equivalence class.