unequal

adjective
un·​equal | \ ˌən-ˈē-kwəl How to pronounce unequal (audio) \

Definition of unequal

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : 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
3a : 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

unequal

noun

Definition of unequal (Entry 2 of 3)

: one that is not equal to another

unequal

adverb

Definition of unequal (Entry 3 of 3)

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

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Other Words from unequal

Adjective

unequally \ ˌən-​ˈē-​kwə-​lē How to pronounce unequally (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for unequal

Synonyms: Adjective

changing, erratic, fluctuating, irregular, uneven, unstable, unsteady, varying

Antonyms: Adjective

changeless, constant, stable, steady, unchanging, unvarying

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Examples of unequal in a Sentence

Adjective

unequal academic standards for male and female students unequal justice based on race

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

McMillan pointed to unequal opportunity for employment, education and income that many young men of color face. Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post, "Our kids are dying: Gun violence killing increasing number of teens in Denver and across Colorado," 15 Sep. 2019 In a city marked by startling inequity, leaf cover is just one more thing that has been historically distributed in unequal measure. chicagotribune.com, "No trees, no shade, no relief in cities as climate heats up," 9 Sep. 2019 After the end of the Cold War, the E.U. established a highly unequal set of relations between member states. Ashley Smith, Harper's magazine, "Left of Europe," 16 Sep. 2019 Sandy or whitish in color, the crustacean has claws of unequal size, hairy legs and its back can reach 3.75--5 cm (about 1.5--2 inches) in length. Amy Woodyatt And Allen Kim, CNN, "Ghost crabs 'growl' from their stomachs, scientists find," 12 Sep. 2019 In a city marked by startling inequity, leaf cover is just one more thing that has been historically distributed in unequal measure. chicagotribune.com, "No trees, no shade, no relief in cities as climate heats up," 9 Sep. 2019 In a city marked by startling inequity, leaf cover is just one more thing that has been historically distributed in unequal measure. Washington Post, "No trees, no shade, no relief in cities as climate heats up," 5 Sep. 2019 In 2010 that topping-up proved unequal to the task. The Economist, "How Viktor Orban hollowed out Hungary’s democracy," 29 Aug. 2019 The votes allotted to them are in a compound ratio, which considers them partly as distinct and coequal societies, partly as unequal members of the same society. Jay Cost, National Review, "Chris Hayes and Progressives’ Lack of Respect for the Constitution," 3 Sep. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of unequal

Adjective

1565, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1600, in the meaning defined above

Adverb

1602, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for unequal

Last Updated

9 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unequal

The first known use of unequal was in 1565

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More Definitions for unequal

unequal

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of unequal

: 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

adjective
un·​equal | \ ˌən-ˈē-kwəl How to pronounce unequal (audio) \

Kids Definition of unequal

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.

Other Words from unequal

unequally adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on unequal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unequal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unequal

Spanish Central: Translation of unequal

Nglish: Translation of unequal for Spanish Speakers

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