equal

adjective
\ ˈē-kwəl How to pronounce equal (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But such cultural acceptance does not always translate into political support for equal rights. New York Times, 5 June 2021 Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, is an annual holiday to celebrate equal rights and freedom of slaves in the United States. Brendel Hightower, Detroit Free Press, 5 June 2021 For leaders, like our Ripple of Hope Award laureates Colin Kaepernick and PayPal CEO Dan Schulman, that has meant leveraging their platforms and public followings to advance equal rights. Kerry Kennedy, CNN, 5 June 2021 While Warren championed equal rights and voting, the Roberts court has repeatedly invoked its duty to protect the 1st Amendment rights of the wealthy and corporate groups to spend money on election campaigns. Los Angeles Times, 4 June 2021 Detractors of the ban, including equal rights advocates and many transgender people, have argued the bill is an effort to score political points by further alienating transgender people. al, 1 June 2021 Thomas Brewer — who had asked William Hastie for a better investigation and whose work for equal rights included supporting a legal battle that ended all-White primary elections in Georgia — suffered a fate not unlike King’s. Alexa Mills, Washington Post, 28 May 2021 Half of the proceeds from the collection will go to benefit the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which helps to advocate for LGBTQ equal rights and fight against discrimination. Shayna Murphy, USA TODAY, 27 May 2021 Jews and Arabs have equal rights and elect their leaders. WSJ, 25 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The objective, say Chinese officials, was to make clear that Beijing sees itself as an equal of the U.S. Bob Davis, WSJ, 12 Apr. 2021 While considered by many experts as the equal of the Sabre, Spencer believes the Soviet jet might have had a slight advantage. David Kindy, Smithsonian Magazine, 10 Apr. 2021 Those early critics eventually became among his closest allies and Turley their professional equal. The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 May 2020 That someone regards you and treats you as an equal is the first square on the board of finding a partner or friend. Washington Post, 25 Nov. 2020 Are either of those two Johnny-come-lately luxury sedans from Japan the equal of a Mercedes? Martin Padgett Jr., Car and Driver, 16 Sep. 2020 Others may question whether Swift will be seen in history as the artistic equal of Sinatra, Wonder and Simon. Paul Grein, Billboard, 8 Sep. 2020 Roberto, who is 10 years older, treats her as an intellectual equal, engaging her in philosophical conversations that combine Catholic theology with a critique of capitalism. Washington Post, 31 Aug. 2020 Woman is now recognized as the political equal of man. San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Although access to health insurance does improve access to care, having insurance doesn't necessarily equal health care affordability. Jennifer Chesak, Health.com, 7 June 2021 The presence of a chemical does not equal the presence of risk, Schwarcz added. Washington Post, 5 June 2021 Orderly hallways, a cross in each classroom, and plaid uniforms do not equal an authentic Catholic education. Grazie Pozo Christie, National Review, 20 May 2021 Pouring money into social programs for low-income households will not equal the money sucked out from devalued currency, below-inflation interest saving rates, and failing prosperity. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 May 2021 Unfortunately, low prices don’t always equal the highest quality, and one brand of low-cost pressure washers is now being recalled due to a very serious issue with the spray gun that comes with them. Mike Wehner, BGR, 8 Apr. 2021 Take it from me rumors and headlines don't equal truth. Michael Balsamo, Star Tribune, 31 Mar. 2021 Even so, eligibility does not equal vaccinations: Only about 16% of the U.S. population, or 52.6 million people, is fully immunized. Emma Court, Bloomberg.com, 29 Mar. 2021 While the whole doesn’t equal the sum of its parts, many of the components are spectacular. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, 21 May 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about equal

Time Traveler for equal

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for equal

Last Updated

9 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Equal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/equal. Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce equal (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on equal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for equal

Nglish: Translation of equal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of equal for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!