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unequal

adjective un·equal \ ˌən-ˈē-kwəl \
Updated on: 22 May 2018

Definition of unequal

1 a : not of the same measurement, quantity, or number as another
b : not like or not the same as another in degree, worth, or status
2 : not uniform : variable, uneven
3 a : badly balanced or matched
  • an unequal contest
b : contracted between unequals
  • unequal marriages
c archaic : not equable
4 archaic : not equitable : unjust
5 : inadequate, insufficient
  • unequal to the task

unequally

play \ˌən-ˈē-kwə-lē\ adverb

Examples of unequal in a Sentence

  1. unequal academic standards for male and female students

  2. unequal justice based on race

Recent Examples of unequal from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unequal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of unequal

1565

in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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2

unequal

noun

Definition of unequal

: one that is not equal to another

First Known Use of unequal

1600

in the meaning defined above

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3

unequal

adverb

Definition of unequal

archaic
: in an unequal manner
  • unequal match'd
  • —William Shakespeare

First Known Use of unequal

1602

in the meaning defined above

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UNEQUAL Defined for English Language Learners

unequal

Definition of unequal for English Language Learners

  • : not the same in a way that is unfair : giving more advantages, power, etc., to some people and less to other people for unfair reasons

  • : different in number, degree, quality, size, etc.

  • : not able to do what is needed


UNEQUAL Defined for Kids

unequal

adjective un·equal \ ˌən-ˈē-kwəl \

Definition of unequal for Students

1 : not alike (as in size or value)
2 : badly balanced or matched
  • an unequal fight
3 : not having the needed abilities
  • They proved unequal to the task.

unequally

adverb


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