un·​even | \ ˌən-ˈē-vən How to pronounce uneven (audio) \

Definition of uneven

1a archaic : unequal sense 1a
2a : not even : not level or smooth : rugged, ragged large uneven teeth uneven handwriting
b : varying from the straight or parallel
c : not uniform : irregular uneven combustion
d : varying in quality an uneven performance
3 : unequal sense 3a an uneven confrontation

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Other Words from uneven

unevenly adverb
unevenness \ ˌən-​ˈē-​və(n)-​nəs How to pronounce uneven (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for uneven

rough, harsh, uneven, rugged, scabrous mean not smooth or even. rough implies points, bristles, ridges, or projections on the surface. a rough wooden board harsh implies a surface or texture distinctly unpleasant to the touch. a harsh fabric that chafes the skin uneven implies a lack of uniformity in height, breadth, or quality. an old house with uneven floors rugged implies irregularity or roughness of land surface and connotes difficulty of travel. a rugged landscape scabrous implies scaliness or prickliness of surface. a scabrous leaf

Examples of uneven in a Sentence

His breathing was shallow and uneven. You should check your car's tires often for signs of uneven wear. an uneven distribution of wealth We have an uneven number of players, so we'll have to rotate.
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Recent Examples on the Web In Washington, DC, Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell has spoken about regularly passing by an encampment on his way to work -- a stark reminder that the economic recovery has been uneven if not non-existent for many. Katie Lobosco, CNN, "Homeless relief is on the way, but the crisis could get worse as evictions loom," 25 Apr. 2021 Though Locksley noted that the line’s performance should come with the caveat that the quarterback could not be touched, the unit was uneven at times. Daniel Oyefusi, baltimoresun.com, "3 takeaways from Maryland’s Red-White spring football game," 24 Apr. 2021 If the terrain is uneven, though, whether hilly, mountainous, or containing a plateau, some locations will be more favorable than others for rain to pool and collect. Ethan Siegel, Forbes, "How Falling Out Of Equilibrium Is The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Our Universe," 21 Apr. 2021 However, usage was also uneven in this area — people of color were less likely to use telehealth services, while seniors 65 and older used it the most, despite their lower levels of internet connectivity and tech savvy. CBS News, "Californians want to keep working and learning from home post-pandemic, survey says," 20 Apr. 2021 And access is uneven statewide, with percentages of eligible 4-year-olds enrolled in the program varying from 14% in Lowndes and Shelby counties, to 90% in Butler County. Trisha Powell Crain | Tcrain@al.com, al, "Alabama Pre-K enrollment down during pandemic, still highly-ranked by national group," 19 Apr. 2021 The first is that the novel is uneven, a clash of naturalistic writing and allegory. Colin Asher, The New Republic, "When Richard Wright Broke With the Communists," 19 Apr. 2021 Though progress has been uneven, girls and women now make up about 40 percent of students. New York Times, "Afghan Women Fear the Worst, Whether War or Peace Lies Ahead," 18 Apr. 2021 Although progress has been uneven, girls and women now make up about 40% of students. Thomas Gibbons-neff, Star Tribune, "Afghan women fear the worst, whether war or peace lies ahead," 18 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'uneven.' 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 uneven

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for uneven

Time Traveler

The first known use of uneven was before the 12th century

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Statistics for uneven

Last Updated

28 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Uneven.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/uneven. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for uneven



English Language Learners Definition of uneven

: not level, flat, or smooth
: not straight or parallel
: not following a regular pattern : not the same in all parts or at all times


un·​even | \ ˌən-ˈē-vən How to pronounce uneven (audio) \

Kids Definition of uneven

1 : odd sense 3 uneven numbers
2 : not level, straight, or smooth an uneven surface
3 : irregular sense 4 uneven breathing
4 : varying in quality an uneven performance
5 : unequal sense 2 an uneven competition

Other Words from uneven

unevenly adverb The board was cut unevenly.

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Comments on uneven

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