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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Trump returned to the campaign trail with a new stump speech that made roughly equal work of skewering Biden and Vice President Harris, recognizing the hand-wringing among Democrats over who should lead their ticket in November. Amy b Wang, Washington Post, 10 July 2024 But today, those shares are roughly equal (36% and 37%). J.j. McCorvey, NBC News, 10 July 2024
Noun
The argument wasn’t (primarily) that minorities were biologically inferior, just that France is under no obligation to admit culturally distinct foreigners and treat them as equals. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, 28 June 2024 Though the mother and daughter thought of themselves as equals, fate has a way of playing favorites. Mary Carole McCauley, Baltimore Sun, 21 Mar. 2024
Verb
One basis point equals one-hundredth of a percentage point. Michelle Fox, CNBC, 12 July 2024 At the root of the therapy, sound frequency is defined as the number of times per second that a sound pressure wave repeats itself, and the standard measure of frequency is a hertz (with one hertz equaling one vibration per second). Ryma Chikhoune, WWD, 11 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for equal 

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 16 Jul. 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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