Definition of equal in English:

equal

adjective

  • 1Being the same in quantity, size, degree, or value.

    ‘add equal amounts of water and flour’
    ‘1 liter is roughly equal to 1 quart’
    • ‘Trim off the ends of each package and slice each into five equal portions.’
    • ‘The sum of the angles of a triangle is equal to two right angles.’
    • ‘For example, a student knows that 32 degrees Fahrenheit is freezing and is equal to 0 degrees Celsius.’
    • ‘The amount of the deduction is equal to the value of the stock contributed.’
    • ‘This team observed that fatty meals produce as much reflux over six hours as a balanced meal with an equal number of calories.’
    • ‘Night and day are in perfect balance, only twice a year do day and night become equal in length.’
    • ‘Several forms of verbal therapy have roughly equal effects, he noted.’
    • ‘He also knows the critical letters will be balanced by an equal number of friendly letters.’
    • ‘In very rare cases, the right and left groove appear equal in size.’
    • ‘The film has its fascinating and tedious elements, in nearly equal measure.’
    • ‘Everywhere you look, this concept inspires admiration and trepidation in almost equal measure.’
    • ‘Few of the items produced within the country are considered equal in quality to foreign products.’
    • ‘Milk should be frozen in portions approximately equal to the amount needed for one or two feedings.’
    • ‘Nearly equal amounts of the hormone are derived from the adrenal glands and the ovaries.’
    • ‘But it is still not clear how to find an efficient allocation in which the value of consumption is equal to income for all consumers.’
    • ‘The amount of money taken in was roughly equal to the amount of money paid out.’
    • ‘In estimating, it can be assumed that the yield of the concrete will be approximately equal to the quantity of gravel used.’
    • ‘Overall, the acts and scenes comprising the narrative of folktales of this type are roughly equal in length.’
    • ‘York-based Northern Spirit are recruiting 50 new drivers and say they want an equal number of applications from both sexes.’
    • ‘We begin with a law of international relations: no action involving two countries has equal effects on each.’
    identical, uniform, alike, like, the same, one and the same, equivalent, indistinguishable
    equivalent, identical, amounting
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    1. 1.1 (of people) having the same status, rights, or opportunities.
      • ‘French authorities contend the principle of secularism is meant to make everybody equal.’
      • ‘Legislation giving women status as equal partners in marriage was passed in 1993.’
      • ‘Women are finally becoming equal with men and not before time.’
      • ‘The thesis is that in traditional Aboriginal societies, women were equal to men and treated with respect.’
      • ‘This experience reinforced American egalitarianism, the belief that everyone is equal in status.’
      • ‘Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.’
      • ‘He is not equal in status to the other citizens.’
      • ‘No one is above the law and everyone is equal before the law.’
      • ‘We are taught that all men are created equal in the eyes of God and there is only one God.’
      • ‘Weren't women already equal in the eyes of the law?’
      • ‘In respect to civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law.’
      • ‘All humans are born free and equal in dignity and rights.’
      • ‘Until gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people are fully equal under law, we are second-class citizens.’
      • ‘"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, " it declared.’
      • ‘We're all more or less equal: let the calculators do the dividing.’
      • ‘Can citizens be considered equal if they possess very different degrees of economic power?’
      • ‘Under a human-rights focused democracy, all people are equal before the law.’
    2. 1.2 Uniform in application or effect; without discrimination on any grounds.
      ‘a dedicated campaigner for equal rights’
      • ‘The report found pregnancy discrimination, equal pay, harassment, access to employment and promotion, and dismissal as causes of complaint.’
      • ‘Equal pay is also historically significant in the context of age and race.’
      • ‘Although people claim there is an even playing field now and all access to opportunities is equal, it's not yet true.’
      • ‘Article 26 provides that all persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law.’
      • ‘Labour health spokesperson Liz McManus said the party was committed to providing equal access to a high-quality health service.’
      • ‘They also indicated in large numbers that they hoped to end segregation and discrimination and receive equal, just, and fair treatment.’
      • ‘I will do everything in my power to fight for fair and equal treatment.’
      • ‘After all, these were just two small units in a vast country where every Soviet citizen enjoyed equal rights and opportunities.’
      • ‘What we advocate is not that everyone is the same, but rather, all should have equal access to opportunity.’
      • ‘I asked for equal rights and opportunities and I tried my hardest to achieve it.’
      • ‘Student Services created Services for Students with Disabilities to provide equal access and opportunities to students with disabilities.’
      • ‘You must have been playing this ‘ignorance is bliss’ game for a while now if you believe that we all have equal rights and opportunities here.’
      • ‘The primary goal of school reform must be to provide more equal education opportunities.’
      • ‘No one is safe unless and until we all share equal protection under the same laws.’
      • ‘I admit that I prefer working with men and I am in favour of equal employment opportunities.’
      • ‘These valuable resources will be managed through a local community structure working on the ethos of equal access to opportunities for all.’
      • ‘A professional equal opportunities approach must underpin appointments, otherwise the same old faces will reappear.’
      • ‘As adults we all have equal status - not economically, not in terms of our beauty, our background or how nice our parents are, but in terms of our rights.’
      • ‘Instead, all property should be owned collectively, and all people should have equal social and economic status.’
      • ‘In the 1960s she worked to improve women's access to education and training and to promote equal pay and opportunity.’
      • ‘Until the achievement of equal pay in 1974, men fared better than women.’
      unbiased, impartial, non-partisan, fair, fair-minded, just, even-handed, equitable
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    3. 1.3 Evenly or fairly balanced.
      ‘it was hardly an equal contest’
      • ‘Will ‘close’ allies be persuaded to buy the US technologies as the price of a more equal relationship on the ground?’
      • ‘The duel - more equal and balanced in the play than in the film, where the camera unfairly favours Nicholson - is a showdown between two opposed acting styles.’
      • ‘The scrum is supposed to be an equal contest and you would expect a pack of 900 kg to dominate a pack of 800 kg.’
      • ‘It is difficult to foster and feed the kind of balanced, equal relationship that can sustain us into the future.’
      • ‘At first, it seemed reasonable; everyone had fairly equal responsibilities, which I noted she never bothered with herself.’
      • ‘You cannot sort of just parachute in without opportunity for open and equal competition as part of the process.’
      • ‘War serves a good purpose when it is an equal fight.’
      • ‘I'm no great fan of his but I do like to see an equal contest and I don't think that's what we're getting in this campaign.’
      evenly matched, evenly balanced, even, balanced, level, evenly proportioned, well matched, on a par, on an equal footing
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  • 2equal topredicative Having the ability or resources to meet (a challenge)

    ‘the players proved equal to the task’
    • ‘Against the wind in the second half, Confey now had to face a far tougher challenge but they were equal to the task.’
    • ‘After reading the screenplay Stalin noted, " comrade Eisenstein proved himself equal to the task".’
    • ‘He soon proved himself more than equal to the demands of combat soldiering.’
    • ‘The people of York have proved themselves equal to the task.’
    • ‘I just don't feel equal to the challenge that I'm facing now.’
    • ‘With her comprehensive research, sound analysis, and engaging style, Williams proves herself equal to the task.’
    capable of, fit for, up to, good enough for, strong enough for, adequate for, sufficient for, ready for
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noun

  • A person or thing considered to be the same as another in status or quality.

    ‘we all treat each other as equals’
    ‘it was a day without equal in market history’
    • ‘But generally, the standard is high - these funny and charming wannabes are the equal of many stand-ups I've seen on the circuit.’
    • ‘For Juliet the relief must come from realising she has produced an album the equal of, if not better than, ‘Burn The Black Suit’.’
    • ‘Bergerac has an under-appreciated white wine, Monbazillac, that is almost the equal of many Sauternes and much less expensive.’
    • ‘In the pantheon of funnymen, Rodney was, and still is, without equal.’
    • ‘I think that winning the Champions League would allow us to step up to another level and to become the equal of the great European clubs.’
    • ‘In the United States, most things are done by the private sector, and most things here are at least the equal of their counterparts everywhere in the world.’
    • ‘Indeed, one of the fundamental demands of striking workers in the preceding years was to be treated as the equal of their masters.’
    • ‘A dozen short stories precede the novella, a reminder that while Updike may not be the equal of, say, Carver, in that genre he has few equals among his contemporaries.’
    • ‘Marina, on the other hand, is pretty, uninhibited, and not Holly's intellectual equal.’
    • ‘Consider the statement: Women are, and should be treated as, the equals of men.’
    • ‘Vegetarians' concern for animals and their refusal to treat animals cruelly does not mean that they regard animals as equals.’
    • ‘The stairways and the timbers used have had few equals in the present day.’
    • ‘At last, an intelligent email from an intellectual equal.’
    • ‘I consider myself one of the best producers in New York, and she's easily my equal, if not my superior.’
    • ‘The SAS is Great Britain's most elite force, the equal of any special forces group in the world.’
    • ‘In any event, the dishes were the equal of anything I've ever tasted anywhere in the world.’
    • ‘Now we can negotiate as equals with the administration.’
    • ‘He was now a land owner - the equal of his former employers.’
    • ‘I've eaten at a lot of Chinese restaurants on three different continents, and this was easily the equal of the best of them.’
    • ‘She had never done so before, but she doubted that she was meant to be his intellectual equal anymore.’
    equivalent, peer, fellow, coequal, like
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verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Be the same as in number or amount.

    ‘four plus six divided by two equals five’
    ‘the total debits should equal the total credits’
    • ‘Net consumption divided by total capital invested equals a rate of profit of 11.11%.’
    • ‘The formula that represents power density is watts times time, divided by spot size, equals power density.’
    • ‘For example, total charges must equal total credits.’
    • ‘The total amount of the invoice equalled the amount of finance available, namely £14.5 millions.’
    • ‘Total seed number per plant equals the sum of seeds over all mature fruits.’
    • ‘Table VII shows that the number of paper-cutting opportunities nearly equaled the total number of paper-folding opportunities in the ten textbooks.’
    • ‘The net worth of the 30 richest Americans equals approximately $500 billion.’
    • ‘To emphasize the nature of rent as a surplus, George notes that wages plus returns to capital goods equal the total produce minus rent.’
    • ‘A circle and square have an equal area only if the ratio between a side of the square and a radius of the circle equals the square root of pi.’
    • ‘The first thing to note about the 8% figure quoted by the prime minister is that it does not equal the amount of total EU income spent on health care.’
    • ‘The cost would roughly equal the amount currently spent by oil companies on petroleum exploration and production.’
    • ‘The amount equals the compensation the European Union is seeking for the impact of the tax breaks on businesses in the union.’
    • ‘Yet 371 people were arrested, equaling approximately 40 people per incident.’
    • ‘Euler asserts that the sum of the harmonic series equals the natural logarithm of infinity plus a quantity that is nearly a constant.’
    • ‘Under our assumptions, $.50 divided by 1.5 equals $.33.’
    • ‘Daily calcium intake should equal approximately 1500 mg of elemental calcium.’
    • ‘Regional totals of disease incidence or patients receiving treatment often do not equal the sum of published country specific figures.’
    • ‘But since equity equals assets minus total debt, a company decreases its equity by increasing debt.’
    • ‘Exports of such services equalled 0.6 percent of all exports of goods and services in 2000.’
    • ‘Your daily calorie intake should equal approximately 13 times your body weight if you're active.’
    be equal to, be equivalent to, be the same as, correspond to
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    1. 1.1 Match or rival in performance or extent.
      ‘he equaled the world record of 9.93 seconds’
      • ‘The women's fourth-place finish equaled their best ever performance set at last year's conference meet while the men's fifth-place finish was one better than last year.’
      • ‘One of the main differences between the sides was that the losers could not equal the performances of a number of players in key positions.’
      • ‘Airports consume land, energy and dumping capacity at rates rarely equalled anywhere else.’
      • ‘The record was not equalled until August this year by Arsene Wenger's awesome Arsenal side.’
      • ‘His love of sport was only equalled by his developed love of history.’
      • ‘He already has equaled his stolen base total from 1999.’
      • ‘With the big serves in today's tennis, I'm not sure this match will ever be equalled.’
      • ‘Five centuries - equalling the best ever total in a best-of - 25-frames match - were the highlights.’
      • ‘Browne's time in the 60m sprint equalled his best performance this year, which has him ranked in the top 10 nationally.’
      • ‘McEvoy equalled the course record and snatched the halfway lead, before tailing off.’
      • ‘He has now scored five tries in just three appearances this season, equalling his total for the entire 1998 season and out-stripping the two he managed last term.’
      • ‘You were a true professional, whose paranoia equalled only my own.’
      • ‘Publicly, she may well claim she aims to smash her final imprint into the record book, equalling the record of 20 Wimbledon titles garnered by Billie Jean King.’
      • ‘His fury at his compatriots is only equalled by his contempt for the Americans.’
      • ‘This time the Trophy Match equalled the flawless performance of the other two.’
      • ‘Unfortunately for Mackie, the men managed to equal that feat within the next two hours.’
      • ‘Graeme Smith's South Africa needed a win to equal Australia's world record of 21 unbeaten matches set in 2003.’
      • ‘How could he have done something to equal what I had done?’
      • ‘At Goodwood today, it is odds-on that a horse will equal a feat not seen in 30 years.’
      • ‘The time of 2: 15.10 on a firm course equals the course record.’
      match, reach, parallel, come up to, be level with, measure up to, achieve
      be as good as, be equal with, be even with, be level with, be a match for, match, measure up to, come up to, equate with, be in the same league as, be in the same category as, be tantamount to
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    2. 1.2 Be equivalent to.
      ‘his work is concerned with why private property equals exploitation’
      • ‘What you mean cannot equal what you say, because words and meaning are not identical.’
      • ‘Personal trainer Paul Leong agrees that fitness without proper nutrition equals poor results in overall health and weight loss.’
      • ‘In this case, as in English common law, silence equals consent.’
      • ‘Or as is said in economics, private benefit equals social benefit.’
      • ‘The formula would be privatization plus deregulation equals efficiency.’
      • ‘The kind of space that I want to create is one where men do not think that a short skirt equals consent.’
      • ‘But I still don't understand why tragedy plus time equals profit.’
      • ‘Lost quality equals lost income, while the farmgate price for cereals continues to be depressed.’
      • ‘But to the extent that virility equals violence it is not a vital force but only a cover for the real frigidity.’
      • ‘What these works reveal most vividly is that suburban history is, more than anything else, a story in which property equals power.’
      • ‘But in this industry, status does not necessarily equal dollars or employment.’
      • ‘A danger to his property equaled a direct danger to him.’
      • ‘Let's talk about this: no breathing equals no oxygen equals total exhaustion.’
      • ‘Both universities have started educational campaigns to teach students that downloading copyrighted songs equals intellectual property theft.’
      • ‘The relationship between culture and society is not, as Okri appears to suggest, one of strict equivalence, as in great society equals great culture.’
      be equal to, be equivalent to, be the same as, correspond to
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Usage

It is widely held that adjectives such as equal and unique have absolute meanings and therefore can have no degrees of comparison. Hence they should not be modified, and it is incorrect to say more equal or very unique on the grounds that these are adjectives that refer to a logical or mathematical absolute. For more discussion of this question, see unique

Phrases

  • other (or all) things being equal

    • Provided that other factors or circumstances remain the same.

      ‘it follows that, other things being equal, the price level will rise’
      • ‘But all other things being equal, the view is that we feel that congestion charges are the most realistic way ahead.’
      • ‘One view is that if the planning system were abolished tomorrow, the general level of house prices, all other things being equal, would not change very much.’
      • ‘So, all other things being equal, the left-handed trait, which is largely genetic, should have died out long ago in prehistory.’
      • ‘I'm sure all things being equal, he'd rather be someplace else.’
      • ‘Because in economics, as you and I both know, if there's demand, prices are going to rise, all other things being equal.’
      • ‘It does not always provide for perfect justice or perfect security but, all things being equal, it is an improvement over the endless territorial and tribal wars that came before.’
      • ‘Time after time the courts have said that, all other things being equal, if the child has a good parent, that child should be with the parent.’
      • ‘Once this finds an outlet through trade and specialisation, all things being equal, material progress follows.’
      • ‘As for me, all other things being equal, I'd rather live longer and would not begrudge further longevity to others.’
      • ‘Other things being roughly equal, Supreme Court Justices of all political persuasions are best served by like-minded clerks.’
      in all likelihood, in all probability, as likely as not, very likely, most likely, likely, as like as not, ten to one, the chances are, doubtless, no doubt, all things considered, taking all things into consideration, all things being equal, possibly, perhaps, maybe, it may be, presumably, on the face of it, apparently
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Origin

Late Middle English: from Latin aequalis, from aequus ‘even, level, equal’.

Pronunciation

equal

/ˈēkwəl//ˈikwəl/