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

In the final round, winners can receive a check equal to their total debt burden. Derek Thompson, The Atlantic, "Win a Game Show, Pay Off Your Student Debt," 12 July 2018 Under the prior law, a company making a $100 renovation could deduct the costs over 15 years, for a deduction equal to a present value of $84.38, according to a Tax Foundation analysis. Richard Rubin, WSJ, "Four Words Missing in the New Tax Law Give Restaurants Heartburn," 10 July 2018 Tusk has described Trump’s abrasiveness as a challenge for Europe equal to China’s expanding economic power or Russia’s belligerence. Washington Post, "Friend or foe at NATO? Who knows when Trump comes to dinner," 10 July 2018 China is expected to hit back against the Trump administration’s 25 percent tax on those Chinese goods with taxes on an equal amount of American products, including soybeans, lobsters, sport-utility vehicles, and whiskey. Brooke Singman, Fox News, "Trump suggests China meddling in North Korea talks amid trade tensions with US," 10 July 2018 Based on other counties in Ohio that have gone to online fee payment, Hamilton County can expect a 14 percent bump in fine/court fee payments, equal to an additional $1.5 million in delinquent court fees and fines, Pureval said. Scott Wartman, Cincinnati.com, "Great news for speeders in Hamilton County: You can now pay your fines online.," 9 July 2018 What happens when a drone has a recoil momentum equal to the momentum of a fireball? Rhett Allain, WIRED, "The Physics of Launching Fireworks From a Drone," 4 July 2018 If the rug is bigger, hide part of it under the sofa, or have an equal amount of floor showing on at least three sides of the rug. Jennifer Adams, Philly.com, "Ask Jennifer Adams: How to decorate with area rugs," 22 June 2018 On September 22, 2018 both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres of the Earth will receive equal amounts of daylight. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Summer is for meteor showers and stargazing. Here’s how to watch.," 22 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Played by Rob James-Collier The guy is a major two-face, treating his equals like dirt while kissing up to the bosses. Matthew Gilbert, BostonGlobe.com, "The best villains on TV," 6 July 2018 Most European governments do not regard these postcolonial Arab monarchies and Zionist upstarts as anything near their equals. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Europe Is Feeling Trumped," 21 May 2018 Parents and school directors say the training commitment would be disproportionate to the amount of time parents spend helping in classrooms, which administrators said equals about three to six hours a month. Debbie Truong, Washington Post, "Parents fear proposed regulations could jeopardize co-op preschools in Virginia," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Read More Why 'simple' equals special in the new Charlotte Hornets lexicon ▪ Center Willy Hernangomez, acquired in a February trade, seems very motivated. Rick Bonnell, charlotteobserver, "Hornets takeaways from Vegas on a trimmer Miles Bridges, a savvy Devonte Graham, more," 10 July 2018 His theorem, a part of Euclidean geometry taught in many high school math classes, states that the hypotenuse of a right triangle (the side opposite the right angle) equals the sum of the squares of the other two sides. Kevin Kelleher, Fortune, "Stonehenge Builders Used Pythagoras' Theorem Centuries Before His Birth, Say Experts," 21 June 2018 At 15, Doug fired a 65 in the second round of the Illinois Junior Amateur Championship, equaling the course record at Makray Memorial in Barrington. Teddy Greenstein, chicagotribune.com, "From Arlington Heights to Shinnecock Hills: Doug Ghim is living his dream," 10 June 2018 Still, the deals — one was to turn a residence hall into luxury rentals and the other a plan to auction off its television airwaves — do not equal a five-year strategic plan, which the school does not have. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "What’s going on at the nation’s premier historically black university?," 7 June 2018 Simpson's overall score of 18 under was the lowest at the Players Championship since 2003, and his six consecutive birdies on Friday equaled a tournament record. CNN, "Tiger Woods: 'I'm not that far off from winning golf tournaments'," 14 May 2018 One person of color does not equal a diversity of ideas, just as one black character does not equal representation on screen. Yolanda Machado, Marie Claire, "Watching the 'Roseanne' Reboot Is a Political Statement," 2 Apr. 2018 The notion that more prisons don’t equal less crime now taking hold around the country is already firmly in place here. Henry Gass, The Christian Science Monitor, "In Kentucky, all sides agree on need for criminal justice reform. But how?," 15 Mar. 2018 The Warriors equaled the Central Florida record set by Daytona Beach Seabreeze, which won its seventh and most recent title in 1964. Buddy Collings, OrlandoSentinel.com, "OCP claims seventh boys basketball state championship," 7 Mar. 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

Adjective

Latin aequalis, from aequus level, equal

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Statistics for equal

Last Updated

19 Oct 2018

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

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Comments on equal

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