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

Designed for a family with four children, the Postscript House is equal parts practical and ingenious. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Blocky concrete home hides an airy second level," 8 Nov. 2018 These women were denied equal pay and opportunities and were discouraged from speaking out by threats of termination. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Riot Games sued over allegations of sexual harassment, pay disparity," 7 Nov. 2018 The same can be said for women, who only won the constitutional right to vote in 1920 and still battle for equal pay and protections against harassment and assault. Tyrone Beason / Columnist, The Seattle Times, "It’s not ‘identity politics,’ it’s just who we are. Let’s vote that way," 22 Oct. 2018 Our nation had never seen turnout numbers like this before, but President Obama energized young Americans and gave them something to believe in: LGBTQ rights, equal pay for women, and universal health care, were all on the ballot along with him. Marie Claire, "Why Your Vote Is More Important This Year Than Ever Before," 16 Oct. 2018 If a fitting case reaches the court, Kavanaugh would likely rule to weaken the fight for equal pay and a harassment-free workplace. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "Kavanaugh is presenting himself as a #MeToo ally. His record shows he is not.," 6 Sep. 2018 The music is equal parts dissonant, jarring, and melodic, sometimes sounding more like a sci-fi score than an opera. Paul Ross, Popular Mechanics, "I Am Become Opera: An Atomic Show In the Shadow of Los Alamos," 27 July 2018 The three brother’s prolific journeys, equal parts similar and distinct, were built upon a foundation of hard work and talent. Peter Dawson, star-telegram, "First family of Fort Worth basketball still shining after careers at TCU, Kansas," 12 July 2018 All this to say that while movies set in the middle of nowhere can be equal parts charming or terrifying in movies, not every town in the South is a small one, and not every road is a dirt one. Southern Living, "Annoying Things Movies Always Get Wrong About the South," 3 July 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

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 One woman’s word might not equal the word of a man, but two apparently doesn’t either. Constance Grady, Vox, "How the Kavanaugh allegations became a test for #MeToo," 24 Sep. 2018 The amount to be withheld each month will equal one-twelfth of the total amount of stipends paid by the Palestinian Authority the year before. Isabel Kershner, New York Times, "Israel Penalizes Palestinians for Payments to Prisoners and ‘Martyrs’," 3 July 2018 Revenues will equal expenditures, both at just below $57.5 million dollars. Elliott Lapin, Houston Chronicle, "Crosby ISD lowers tax rate as property values increase, debt decreases," 23 June 2018 The new minimum number of votes required should equal the majority party’s total membership plus five. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Do the Democrats Even Want Power?," 20 June 2018 Total output will equal at least 700 horsepower, according to the report, with a zero- to 60-miles-per-hour sprint time of fewer than 3 seconds. Fortune, "Alfa Romeo Is Planning 700-Horsepower 8C Supercar to Challenge Porsche, Ferrari," 2 June 2018 Another loss would equal the team's longest slide since 2007 and likely ratchet up the pressure on Schmid, who has won just five of 24 games since replacing Curt Onalfo as coach last summer. Kevin Baxter, latimes.com, "Reeling Galaxy need to stop slide in Montreal," 20 May 2018 In 2016, the gold in the world’s e-waste equaled more than a tenth of the gold mined globally that year. New York Times, "E-Waste Offers an Economic Opportunity as Well as Toxicity," 5 July 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

16 Nov 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

History and Etymology for equal

Adjective

Latin aequalis, from aequus level, equal

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Comments on equal

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