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See also: Gleich



From Middle High German gelīch, from Old High German gilīh, from Proto-West Germanic *galīk, from Proto-Germanic *galīkaz. Cognate with Dutch gelijk, English alike, Swedish lik, Danish lig.


  • IPA(key): /ɡlaɪ̯ç/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪ̯ç


gleich (strong nominative masculine singular gleicher, comparative gleicher, superlative am gleichsten)

  1. equal
    Zwei plus zwei ist gleich vier.
    Two plus two is equal to four.
  2. same; very similar
    Zufälligerweise hatten wir beide die gleiche Idee.
    Coincidentally, we both had the same idea.
  3. (often proscribed) same; identical

Usage notes[edit]

  • See derselbe for notes on the prescribed distinction between this word and gleich.
  • The comparative 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
    Er malt alle seine Bilder gleich.
    He paints all of his pictures alike.
  2. in a moment
    Warte, ich komme gleich zu dir.
    Hold on, I'll come to you in a moment.
  3. at once, at a time, simultaneously
    Weil ich hungrig war, habe ich mir gleich zwei Stücke Kuchen vom Buffet genommen.
    Because I was hungry, I took two piece of cake at once from the buffet.
    • 2010, Der Spiegel[1], number 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. right; just; directly
    Mein Haus befindet gleich neben dem Stadtpark.
    My house is located right next to the city park.
  5. now; immediately; straight away
    Nachdem sie im Hotel angekommen war, legte sie sich gleich ins Bett.
    After she had arrived at the hotel, she immediately went to bed.

Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Pennsylvania German[edit]


Compare German gleich, Dutch gelijk, English like.



  1. equal
  2. like
  3. same