equal

1 of 3

adjective

1
a(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
4
a
: capable of meeting the requirements of a situation or a task
b
: suitable
bored with work not equal to his abilities

equal

2 of 3

noun

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

equal

3 of 3

verb

equaled or equalled; equaling or equalling

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
The initial budget of $7 million became $44 million by the end of production, equal to $200 million in today’s value, against a gross of a mere $1.5 million. Antonio Monda, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 Feb. 2024 Nonetheless—this cocktail needs simple syrup, which is equal parts sugar and water, stirred until the sugar dissolves. Jason O'Bryan, Robb Report, 17 Feb. 2024 After many years of compensation being a primary driver to attracting talent, particularly in the tech industry, workers now place equal emphasis on career development. Mindi Cox, Forbes, 16 Feb. 2024 The new sales channel had quickly become for them equal parts blessing and curse. Jason Del Rey, Fortune, 16 Feb. 2024 Under the First Amendment, all speech is equal before the state. Jennifer Schuessler, New York Times, 16 Feb. 2024 Talbot hectors these comically exaggerated pep talks — equal parts carrot and stick — over crushing guitars in a way that feels both giddy and disorienting. Kory Grow, Rolling Stone, 15 Feb. 2024 For equal parts awe and convenience, however, there’s one brunch dish that truly reigns supreme: Pull-Apart Bread. Abigail Wilt, Southern Living, 14 Feb. 2024 Collins’s voice is equal parts cool gravel and mysterious haze, perfectly suited to this moody groove. Jessica Nicholson, Billboard, 5 Feb. 2024
Noun
Hispano-Suiza, founded in 1904, set the stage as a Spanish luxury marque every bit the equal of Rolls-Royce, Bugatti, and Mercedes. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 5 Feb. 2024 The two will be equals, but Ms. O’Neill, whose party captured more seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly in the 2022 elections, will hold the more prestigious title. Brian Melley, The Christian Science Monitor, 4 Feb. 2024 There was a time in American automotive history when marques like Duesenberg, Packard, and Cadillac were the equal of anything from Europe, playing in the same elite circle as Rolls-Royce, Bugatti, Isotta Fraschini, or Hispano Suiza. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 15 Jan. 2024 Orange Shirt Day is a day to remember that people weren't always treated as equals. Journal Sentinel, 11 Jan. 2024 That one day all Israelis can see us as their equals—as people who need to live on our own land, in safety and prosperity, and build a future. Mosab Abu Toha, The New Yorker, 25 Dec. 2023 The movie isn’t the equal of its predecessor, but Giamatti’s precise, humane presence has been a hit thus far with awards voters. Glenn Whipp, Los Angeles Times, 13 Dec. 2023 Back in China, the state-run media curated Xi’s talks with Biden to highlight China’s stature as a global equal to the United States, said Madoka Fukuda, a professor of international politics and China studies at Tokyo’s Hosei University. Christopher Bodeen, Fortune, 16 Nov. 2023 In his fictional city of Icaria, citizens shared all things in common as absolute equals. John Last, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 Nov. 2023
Verb
Following this race plan resulted in Jones lowering her personal best in the 60-meter hurdles to 7.67 seconds, which equals the current world record run by Devynne Charlton exactly a week ago today at the Millrose Games. Katelyn Hutchison, Forbes, 18 Feb. 2024 Each unit equals one album sale, or 10 individual tracks sold from an album, or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid/subscription on-demand official audio and video streams generated by songs from an album. Keith Caulfield, Billboard, 18 Feb. 2024 Accommodations for voters Voters with disabilities are legally entitled to equal voting access. Eleanor Dearman, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 15 Feb. 2024 This equals more programs, more resources, more bilingual faculty and staff and overall a sense of belonging on campus for many Hispanic students who might not be getting support at home. Monica Carrillo-Casas, Idaho Statesman, 13 Feb. 2024 The nearly $14,000 average annual cost equals 15% of median family income, according to the 2023 Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT Data Book. Alicia Wallace, CNN, 8 Feb. 2024 For us, good fashion equals a mix of story-telling and pushing garments further; making garments is just a form of communication, a language really. Laird Borrelli-Persson, Vogue, 5 Feb. 2024 The fake force would be in the opposite direction and would equal your mass multiplied by the acceleration of the elevator. Rhett Allain, WIRED, 2 Feb. 2024 To understand just how much energy that is, consider that 1 nutritional calorie equals 4,184 joules. Tom Yulsman, Discover Magazine, 29 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'equal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near equal

Cite this Entry

“Equal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/equal. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

equal

1 of 3 adjective
1
a
: exactly the same in number, amount, degree, rank, or quality
an equal number of apples and oranges
officers of equal rank
of equal importance
b
: identical in mathematical value : equivalent
2
: not varying from one person or part to another
equal job opportunities
equal pressure throughout the system
3
: impartial
equal laws
4
: capable of meeting requirements : sufficient
equal to the task
equally adverb

equal

2 of 3 noun
1
: one that is equal
has no equal at chess
2
: an equal quantity

equal

3 of 3 verb
equaled or equalled; equaling or equalling
1
: to be equal to
2
: to produce something equal to : match
see if you can equal that!

Legal Definition

equal

1 of 2 adjective
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

2 of 2 noun
: one that is equal
Etymology

Adjective

Latin aequalis, from aequus level, equal

More from Merriam-Webster on equal

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