Definition of uneven in US English:



  • 1Not level or smooth.

    ‘the floors are cracked and uneven’
    • ‘They are full of cracked or misaligned paving slabs or kerbstones, running fissures and uneven surfaces everywhere.’
    • ‘Comfort levels are good and uneven roads were taken with aplomb.’
    • ‘However, those of us who walk on it every day have to be careful not to slip in the mud and twist our ankles on the uneven surfaces.’
    • ‘If a piece of the tooth has chipped off but the pulp is not damaged, the uneven edge may be smoothed and the corner replaced with a tooth-coloured filling.’
    • ‘But huge traffic delays and heavy rain led to visitors complaining about muddy pathways and uneven road surfaces.’
    • ‘The rough uneven surface of slate can seem quite riven, chipped and degraded.’
    • ‘He also said the surface was very uneven and explained that this could damage his £800 racing bike.’
    • ‘Avoid walking on uneven terrain, which could compromise your balance.’
    • ‘The blade currently does not perform well on uneven surfaces or in rocky areas.’
    • ‘The report did say that uneven road surfaces and potholes were quite dangerous and showed an inconsistency with the town centre.’
    • ‘This provides a smooth ride that absorbs a lot of the harshness of uneven road surfaces.’
    • ‘The teams were given just an hour-and-a-half to design and build a vehicle to carry astronauts and their equipment over the rough and uneven surface of the moon.’
    • ‘This blade can be used to level the machine in uneven terrain and to increase digging depth or dumping height.’
    • ‘Rough or uneven surfaces have the effect of softening bright light.’
    • ‘She says she cannot even push Colin to the local shops because of all the potholes and the uneven surface.’
    • ‘I can confirm the road surface in Southborough Lane definitely needed resurfacing in this area as it had very large potholes and an uneven surface.’
    • ‘He says many residents are fed up with the potholes and uneven surface.’
    • ‘The road surface had become uneven with potholes and poor camber.’
    • ‘If the surface seemed a bit bumpy or uneven, they used a small wet sponge to carefully smooth the clay's surface.’
    • ‘The cobbles are very uneven and worn smooth by nine centuries of hooves and shoes, and as the mist becomes drizzle, they turn damp and slippery.’
    bumpy, rough, lumpy, stony, rocky, potholed, holey, rutted, rutty, pitted, jagged, cragged, craggy, dented, indented, knobby
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    1. 1.1 Not regular, consistent, or equal.
      ‘the uneven distribution of resources’
      • ‘Anybody who wants a democratic society cannot accept excessively uneven income distribution.’
      • ‘The ethnic and religious strife is really a matter of an uneven distribution of economic resources and opportunities.’
      • ‘For cluster sampling, rarity is just a form of uneven distribution.’
      • ‘For a start, the process of change was uneven throughout the region, and many elements of the communist past persisted.’
      • ‘The world's distribution of animal and plant species is uneven.’
      • ‘These statistics mask an uneven distribution of debt that mirrors the social divisions in society.’
      • ‘The public are not worried about uneven distribution of wealth but unfair distribution of wealth.’
      • ‘Exacerbating the problem was the uneven distribution of water in China, particularly in the drought-prone north.’
      • ‘Murphy's acting, however, was uneven and never maintained consistency.’
      • ‘Many soils have an uneven distribution of resources owing to fertilizer applications and the periodic saturation of topsoil with rainwater.’
      • ‘The distribution of family duties between men and women is uneven.’
      • ‘Probably the fairest thing to say about the show overall is that it was consistently uneven.’
      • ‘It appears, then, that there is an uneven distribution of cultural industries across Sweden.’
      • ‘The uneven pattern is not consistent with a simple haplotype block structure.’
      • ‘Some would say this does not address the very uneven distribution of resources.’
      • ‘Poor posture causes uneven weight distribution and may strain your ligaments and muscles.’
      • ‘The present uneven distribution of working hours is seriously affecting the personal well-being of many Australians.’
      • ‘But there is still a lack of resources and an uneven distribution of resources.’
      • ‘The writing style is wildly uneven and changes throughout the novel, sometimes intentionally, but not always.’
      • ‘It is, accordingly, inconsistent and uneven in quality of analysis and advice.’
      irregular, unequal, differing, dissimilar, unlike, unalike, unidentical, unbalanced, lopsided, awry, askew, crooked, asymmetrical, unsymmetrical, disproportionate, not matching
      inconsistent, variable, varying, changeable, fluctuating, intermittent, wavering, irregular, erratic, patchy, bitty
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    2. 1.2 (of a contest) not equally balanced.
      ‘Fran struggled briefly but soon gave up the uneven contest’
      • ‘This is an uneven contest and the latter will survive to fight another day.’
      • ‘A lot of them acquitted themselves very well, but it was just such an uneven contest.’
      • ‘But if it was merely an issue of community pride in an uneven contest why was no pressure exerted on the incumbent to step down?’
      • ‘The sheer building mass of the shopping town, in comparison with the council buildings, was an uneven contest.’
      • ‘The United States versus Brazil is a most uneven contest, and the smart money will not be betting on Lula.’
      • ‘Navratilova, whose world singles ranking is 700, admitted it had been a uneven contest.’
      • ‘It would be an uneven match in terms of learning and informed understanding.’
      • ‘Sold out weeks in advance, this was a double headliner, but it was an uneven match.’
      • ‘This was an uneven contest with the Dunlavin girls showing superior skill and teamwork.’
      • ‘If selectors pick a player just to fill a quota, not only will the field remain uneven, the team will suffer a lack of balance too.’
      • ‘Two players contest the ball in an uneven contest dominated by the ADF.’
      • ‘The plain fact is, he kept the Giants afloat in a strange, uneven championship season.’
      one-sided, unequal, unfair, unjust, inequitable, ill-matched, unbalanced, lopsided
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Old English unefen ‘not corresponding exactly’ (see un-, even).