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From Old High German gilīh, itself from Proto-Germanic *galīkaz, whence also Dutch gelijk, Old English ġelīc (whence alike), Old Norse líkr.



gleich (comparative gleicher, superlative am gleichsten)

  1. equal
  2. same; very similar
  3. (often proscribed) same; identical

Usage notes[edit]

  • See derselbe for notes on the prescribed distinction between this word and gleich.
  • The comparations forms are rather rare. They occur chiefly in colloquial or informal usage; for example: Diese beiden Socken sind ziemlich gleich, aber die anderen beiden sind noch gleicher. (“These two socks are pretty identical, but those other two are even more identical.”) There is also a common humorous saying that goes: Im Kommunismus waren alle gleich. Aber manche waren gleicher. (“Everyone was equal in communism. But some were more equal [than the others].”)




  1. alike
  2. in a moment
  3. at once, at a time, simultaneously
    • 2010, Der Spiegel, issue 40/2010, page 142:
      Entdeckung im All: Gleich zwei erdähnliche Planeten kreisen um den Zwergstern Gliese 581.
      Discovery in the universe: two Earth-like planets at once revolve around the dwarf star Gliese 581.
  4. now

Derived terms[edit]