\ ˈē-kwəl How to pronounce equal (audio) \

Definition of equal

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a(1) : of the same measure, quantity, amount, or number as another
(2) : identical in mathematical value or logical denotation : equivalent
b : like in quality, nature, or status
c : like for each member of a group, class, or society provide equal employment opportunities
2 : regarding or affecting all objects in the same way : impartial
3 : free from extremes: such as
a : tranquil in mind or mood
b : not showing variation in appearance, structure, or proportion
4a : capable of meeting the requirements of a situation or a task
b : suitable bored with work not equal to his abilities



Definition of equal (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : one that is equal insists that women can be absolute equals with men— Anne Bernays
2 : an equal quantity


equaled or equalled; equaling or equalling

Definition of equal (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to be equal to especially : to be identical in value to
2 archaic : equalize
3 : to make or produce something equal to

Choose the Right Synonym for equal


same, selfsame, very, identical, equivalent, equal mean not different or not differing from one another. same may imply and selfsame always implies that the things under consideration are one thing and not two or more things. took the same route derived from the selfsame source very, like selfsame, may imply identity, or, like same may imply likeness in kind. the very point I was trying to make identical may imply selfsameness or suggest absolute agreement in all details. identical results equivalent implies amounting to the same thing in worth or significance. two houses equivalent in market value equal implies being identical in value, magnitude, or some specified quality. equal shares in the business

Examples of equal in a Sentence

Adjective an equal number of apples and oranges We divided the profits into three equal shares. The play combines tragedy and comedy in equal measure. The opposing candidate has demanded equal time on television. The fractions 1/2 and 2/4 are equal. providing equal opportunities for children of all races We need to have equal academic standards for male and female students. Noun I consider him my equal. We are all equals here. Verb Nothing can ever equal that experience. See if you can equal that! a weight lifter attempting to equal his rival's performance No one can equal him in chess. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Greenery and blooms bring equal parts color and charm to any apartment balcony, extending the coziness of your home outdoors. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, 26 May 2022 The end result was a gown equal parts classic and modern—a V-necked, A-line silhouette with layers of gossamer white fabric. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, 26 May 2022 Inspired by the West African fabrics that surrounded the British-Nigerian designer as a child, these sporty shoes are equal parts stylish and joyful. Helena Madden, ELLE Decor, 26 May 2022 Your calendar is stacked with beach days, barbecues, and weekend getaways—occasions that require a wardrobe that's equal parts versatile and cute. Aemilia Madden, Harper's BAZAAR, 24 May 2022 While some, like the rather oxidative 1989, showed their age, others, like the 2006 L’Ermitage and the 2011 L’Ermitage, were remarkably fresh—equal parts complexity and deliciousness. Lettie Teague, WSJ, 24 May 2022 Put together equal parts sugar and warm water, and stir. Jason O'bryan, Robb Report, 21 May 2022 There's a lot of fantasy (and Jim Henson puppets!), and David Bowie makes the Goblin King equal parts alluring and terrifying. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, 20 May 2022 Detroit’s finest is equal parts man and machine in the unrated version of Paul Verhoeven’s darkly comic, hyper-violent 1987 sci-fi/action thriller. Los Angeles Times, 19 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Cardinals don’t have an equal for Hillmon, but Engstler could draw the heart of the Michigan defense out to the perimeter. Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press, 28 Mar. 2022 The sides are emblazoned with Berkeley, Abu Garcia, Plano, Push-Pole and other sponsor logos the equal of any NASCAR ride. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9 Mar. 2022 For decades, champions of the video game industry have touted gaming’s cultural impact as the equal of literature, film and music. Washington Post, 17 Apr. 2020 After years atop the hill, our hero Wrangler has an equal for the throne. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 10 July 2021 The objective, say Chinese officials, was to make clear that Beijing sees itself as an equal of the U.S. Bob Davis, WSJ, 12 Apr. 2021 While considered by many experts as the equal of the Sabre, Spencer believes the Soviet jet might have had a slight advantage. David Kindy, Smithsonian Magazine, 10 Apr. 2021 Those early critics eventually became among his closest allies and Turley their professional equal. The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 May 2020 That someone regards you and treats you as an equal is the first square on the board of finding a partner or friend. Washington Post, 25 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb New projections suggest that the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from permafrost could equal those emitted from the rest of the United States by the end of the century. Lois Parshley, Anchorage Daily News, 3 May 2022 The sweet spot is an AVO of 3.78, which would equal the 6,205 parking spaces that will be available. San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 May 2022 Some of the first impressions from listening to this record is it’s far more than a typical ‘solo’ album, in the sense that the sum of it’ parts equal something that’s hugely ambitious both in scale and quality. Quentin Singer, Forbes, 2 May 2022 The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California says this will equal about 80 gallons per day per person. Nathan Solis, Los Angeles Times, 2 May 2022 Previously, Oregon’s highest price was $4.29 in July of 2008, though accounting for inflation, that price would equal about $5.65 today. oregonlive, 29 Mar. 2022 According to the Clayton County Jail log, Drummond is being held on three charges, and his bonds equal $10,000 with $1,600 in fees. Paradise Afshar And Jamiel Lynch, CNN, 25 Mar. 2022 The overall expulsions figure does not equal the number of individual migrants taken into custody since many try to enter the U.S. more than once and are processed multiple times. Camilo Montoya-galvez, CBS News, 15 Nov. 2021 Whether your routine is two steps, three steps, or five steps is entirely up to you—more products doesn’t equal better results. Rio Viera-newton, Vogue, 21 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'equal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of equal


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


1573, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for equal


Middle English, from Latin aequalis, from aequus level, equal

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Time Traveler for equal

Time Traveler

The first known use of equal was in the 14th century

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Statistics for equal

Last Updated

28 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Equal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/equal. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for equal


\ ˈē-kwəl How to pronounce equal (audio) \

Kids Definition of equal

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : exactly the same in number, amount, degree, rank, or quality an equal share of equal importance
2 : the same for each person equal rights
3 : having enough strength, ability, or means He's equal to the task.

Other Words from equal

equally \ ˈē-​kwə-​lē \ adverb We shared the profit equally.


equaled or equalled; equaling or equalling

Kids Definition of equal (Entry 2 of 3)

: to be the same in number, amount, degree, rank, or quality as



Kids Definition of equal (Entry 3 of 3)

: someone or something that is as good or valuable as another



Legal Definition of equal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : like in quality, nature, or status
2 : like for each member of a group, class, or society
3 : regarding or affecting all objects in the same way : impartial



Legal Definition of equal (Entry 2 of 2)

: one that is equal

History and Etymology for equal


Latin aequalis, from aequus level, equal

More from Merriam-Webster on equal

Nglish: Translation of equal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of equal for Arabic Speakers


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