equal

adjective
\ ˈē-kwəl \

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

equal

noun

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

equal

verb
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

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Choose the Right Synonym for equal

Adjective

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The study’s author, Jonathan Taylor, found that on average, freshman girls at these schools earned course grades equal to boys who scored higher on the Specialized High School Admissions Test. Leslie Brody, WSJ, "Entry Exam to City’s Top High Schools Underrates Girls, Study Finds," 8 Jan. 2019 Pitchfork's own festival that year was more equal, with six male acts, one mixed group, and three female acts. Claire Dodson, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande Is Only the Fourth Woman Ever to Headline Coachella," 3 Jan. 2019 At its core, the book takes an optimistic view of the importance of traditions and one’s way of life, but the equal importance of bending to change with circumstance. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Our favorite science fiction and fantasy books of 2018," 21 Dec. 2018 One of the prevailing themes of Mid-Century Modern architecture is a nearly equal emphasis on function and form. Maggie Burch, House Beautiful, "This Is Why Millennials Love Mid-Century Modern Homes So Much," 7 Dec. 2018 Supposedly modeled from Marie Antoinette's breast (there's no evidence that this is actually true), the coupe has a kitschy appeal that's equal parts Gatsby-elegant and mid-century mod. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Everything You Need to Know About Brut Champagne," 21 Dec. 2018 The building’s exterior architecture–which feels equal parts au courant and a form of the future–transitions into a luminescent and geometric interior, inspired by Light and Space artists of the 1960s. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Bottega Veneta Just Opened Their Futuristic Six-Story Tokyo Flagship," 8 Dec. 2018 The American grenade section of the school of arms March 1, 1918, related that a very simple improvised smoke-bomb grenade could be constructed by filling a tennis ball with equal parts of red phosphorus and gun powder. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Five Innovations to Emerge From the First World War," 11 Nov. 2018 On one plane, there’s Hannaford’s film, a kind of dreamy pastiche of European art cinema seemingly inspired in equal parts by Last Year at Marienbad, Persona, and Michelangelo Antonioni. Keith Phipps, The Verge, "Netflix’s Orson Welles revival is strange, fascinating, and frustrating," 1 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Pioneer Works is perhaps the first institution in New York to include Schindler as a peer among famous equals. Joseph Giovannini, New York Times, "In Three Famous Houses, Modern Living Unwinds," 28 June 2018 Showing that Jack and Rebecca are equals and symbolizing Rebecca choosing to forge a path of her own, the two take on a stack of dirty dishes together. Eileen Reslen, Good Housekeeping, "The Important Things You Totally Missed on 'This Is Us' Last Night," 10 Oct. 2018 The Hildy Johnson-Walter Burns relationship is supposed to be a cage match of equals, with witty repartee papering over both grievance and a fundamental compatibility. Julia M. Klein, Philly.com, "'His Girl Friday' at Hedgerow: Fast talk, fast pace," 2 July 2018 In one oil sketch here, a trapper and Indian guide, the exhibition notes, appear as equals on horseback. Edward Rothstein, WSJ, "‘Albert Bierstadt: Witness to a Changing West’ Review: Where the Sublime Joins the Melancholy," 25 June 2018 The fact that these leaders keep meeting is a testament to their hope to find common ground – among equals. The Christian Science Monitor, "Trump’s demand for reciprocity with allies," 12 July 2018 Usually just two people would be involved, most notably the Warriors’ championship team of 1975, when Clifford Ray and George Johnson were virtual equals in a splendidly harmonious partnership that had been established throughout the season. Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle, "Warriors in search of that familiar spark — and a center," 11 Apr. 2018 The casting of the current production at the Lincoln Center Theater makes the teacher-student confrontation more a battle of equals: Lauren Ambrose, who plays Eliza, is three years older than Harry Hadden-Paton, who plays Higgins. Corby Kummer, The Atlantic, "How Do Carousel and My Fair Lady Fare in 2018?," 8 July 2018 Slick subordinates who establish a rapport with investors may start acting like your equals. The Economist, "Life as you know it is IPOver," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Each plant shuttered equals hundreds of jobs lost; combined, the nine slated to retire employ more than 7,000. Erin Ailworth, WSJ, "High-Paying Jobs in Nuclear Power Aren’t Looking So Safe Anymore," 28 Dec. 2018 For many, this financial independence equals freedom. Anna Lekas Miller, Marie Claire, "The Surprising Upside For Female Refugees," 17 Dec. 2018 In most cases, one share of a stock equals one vote, but not always — including at Facebook. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Mark Zuckerberg is essentially untouchable at Facebook," 21 Nov. 2018 Now compare that with 1,600 empty calories, which roughly equals 1 candy bar, 1 bag of potato chips, 1 fast food cheeseburger, and a small chocolate shake. Joy Bauer, Woman's Day, "How to Stay Full on Fewer Calories," 16 Aug. 2018 This is a recipe for greater regulation, which equals greater expense. Patty Khuly, miamiherald, "Pet care is more expensive than ever. These are the reasons why | Miami Herald," 19 Jan. 2018 My family would do occasional vacations and stay at hotels, so to me a hotel equaled a vacation; hotel stays were immeasurably fun as a result. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Stories of IRL Eloise: People Who Live in Hotels," 30 Nov. 2018 The $345,300 Ferrari 488 Pista and $293,200 Porsche 911 GT2 RS equal its 0-60 mph time of 2.7 seconds. Basem Wasef, WIRED, "McLaren's $958,966 Senna Hypercar Ain't Pretty, but It Can Whip a Track," 30 June 2018 In other words, plying more air doesn't always equal more time, especially with a ferocious gale at your back. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "A Turkish Airlines Flight Flew an Extra 800 Miles and Still Landed on Time," 23 Oct. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of equal

Adjective

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

Noun

1573, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for equal

Adjective

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

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Statistics for equal

Last Updated

12 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for equal

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

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More Definitions for equal

equal

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of equal

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: the same in number, amount, degree, rank, or quality

: having the same mathematical value

: not changing : the same for each person

equal

noun

English Language Learners Definition of equal (Entry 2 of 3)

: someone or something that is as good, skillful, valuable, etc., as another person or thing

equal

verb

English Language Learners Definition of equal (Entry 3 of 3)

—used to say that one amount or number is the same as another

: to be as good as (something else)

: to produce something that is as good as (something else) or to do something as well as (someone else)

equal

adjective
\ ˈē-kwəl \

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.

equal

verb
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

equal

noun

Kids Definition of equal (Entry 3 of 3)

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

equal

adjective

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

equal

noun

Legal Definition of equal (Entry 2 of 2)

: one that is equal

History and Etymology for equal

Adjective

Latin aequalis, from aequus level, equal

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More from Merriam-Webster on equal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with equal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for equal

Spanish Central: Translation of equal

Nglish: Translation of equal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of equal for Arabic Speakers

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