equal

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See also: Equal.

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English equal, from Latin aequālis. Doublet of aequalis and egal.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

equal (not generally comparable, comparative more equal, superlative most equal)

  1. (not comparable) The same in all respects.
    Equal conditions should produce equal results.
    All men are created equal.
    • 1705, George Cheyne, The Philosophical Principles of Religion Natural and Revealed:
      They who are not disposed to receive them may let them alone or reject them; it is equal to me.
    • 1980 July, Frank Herbert, “Dune Genesis”, in Omni[1], volume 2, number 10, →ISSN, →OCLC, page 74, column 2; republished as Ultimate Guide To Dune (Part 2) Book One (1:11:30)‎[2], 2017:
      I now believe that evolution, or deevolution, never ends short of death, that no society has ever achieved an absolute pinnacle, that all humans are not created equal. In fact, I believe attempts to create some abstract equalization create a morass of injustices that rebound on the equalizers. Equal justice and equal opportunity are ideals we should seek, but we should recognize that humans administer the ideals and that humans do not have equal ability.
  2. (mathematics, not comparable) Exactly identical, having the same value.
    All right angles are equal.
  3. (obsolete) Fair, impartial.
  4. (comparable) Adequate; sufficiently capable or qualified.
    This test is pretty tough, but I think I'm equal to it.
  5. (obsolete) Not variable; equable; uniform; even.
    an equal movement
  6. (music) Intended for voices of one kind only, either all male or all female; not mixed.

Usage notes[edit]

  • In mathematics, this adjective can be used in phrases like "A and B are equal", "A is equal to B", and, less commonly, "A is equal with B".
  • The most common comparative use is the ironic expression more equal.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Verb[edit]

equal (third-person singular simple present equals, present participle (Commonwealth) equalling or (US) equaling, simple past and past participle (Commonwealth) equalled or (US) equaled)

  1. (mathematics, copulative) To be equal to, to have the same value as; to correspond to.
    Two plus two equals four.
  2. (transitive) To make equivalent to; to cause to match.
    David equaled the water levels of the bottles, so they now both contain exactly 1 liter.
    • 2004, Mary Levy, Jim Kelly, Marv Levy: Where Else Would You Rather Be?:
      There was an even more remarkable attendance figure that underscores the devotion exhibited by our fans, because it was in 1991 that they set a single season in-stadium attendance record that has never been equaled.
  3. (transitive) To match in degree or some other quality, to match up to.
  4. (copulative, informal) To have as consequence, to amount to, to mean.
    Losing this deal equals losing your job.
    Might does not equal right.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

equal (countable and uncountable, plural equals)

  1. A person or thing of equal status to others.
    We're all equals here.
    This beer has no equal.
    • 1712 January 4 (Gregorian calendar), [Joseph Addison; Richard Steele et al.], “MONDAY, December 24, 1711”, in The Spectator, number 256; republished in Alexander Chalmers, editor, The Spectator; a New Edition, [], volume III, New York, N.Y.: D[aniel] Appleton & Company, 1853, →OCLC:
      Those who were once his equals envy and defame him.
      The spelling has been modernized.
    • 1981, William Irwin Thompson, The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light: Mythology, Sexuality and the Origins of Culture, London: Rider/Hutchinson & Co., page 192:
      The two who have no equals become friends without equal.
    • 2005, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, David Kessler, On Grief and Grieving, →ISBN, page 150:
      They had hoped their son, a stockbroker, would marry a financial equal, but Suzette, a teacher, did not come from money.
  2. (obsolete) State of being equal; equality.

Synonyms[edit]

  • (person or thing of equal status to others): peer

Translations[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

terms derived from all parts of speech

Related terms[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hall, Joseph Sargent (1942 March 2) “3. The Consonants”, in The Phonetics of Great Smoky Mountain Speech (American Speech: Reprints and Monographs; 4), New York: King's Crown Press, →DOI, →ISBN, § 2, page 88.

Anagrams[edit]

Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Latin aequālis, of unknown origin. Doublet of egal.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈɛːkwal/, /ɛːˈkwaːl/

Adjective[edit]

equal (Late Middle English)

  1. identical in amount, extent, or portion
  2. even or smooth (of surface)

Descendants[edit]

  • English: equal
  • Scots: aiqual

References[edit]