Meaning of EQUAL in English


I. ˈēkwəl adjective

Etymology: Middle English, from Latin aequalis, from aequus level, equal + -alis -al



(1) : of the same measure, quantity, amount, or number as another or others : like

equal quantities of bread for each man

each placed an equal distance from the door

equal pay for equal work

(2) : identical in mathematical value or logical denotation : equivalent — often used with to

set each factor equal to zero

class a is equal to class b if a is included in b and b is included in a — M.R.Cohen & E. Nagel

the temperature there must have been equal to the freezing point of the sea — Valter Schytt

b. : like, as great as, or the same as another or others in degree, worth, quality, nature, ability, or status

held men to be equal in the sight of God

work equal to his best

premature babies … eventually … become equal to children born after a normal time — Morris Fishbein

of equal interest with the first book

specifically : receiving or entitled to the same treatment or privileges any other individual has or is entitled to

all men are created equal — U.S. Declaration of Independence

c. : like, as great, or the same for each member of a group or class

failing to provide equal opportunities

: uniform in quantity or quality, measure or degree

an equal pressure throughout the system

the song of the birds … is not equal as to melody and force — Richard Semon

2. : regarding or affecting all objects in the same way : impartial

in equal care to nourish lord in hall or beast in stall — Sidney Lanier

authors of the past and present should be judged with equal eyes — F.O.Matthiessen

: fair , just

equal laws

3. : free from extremes : equable: as

a. : tranquil of mind or mood : showing tranquillity

with equal mind … they fell upon their swords — Philip Murray †1952

b. : not showing variation in appearance, structure, or proportion

architecture, always hard, logical, and equal — Osbert Sitwell

: level

the equal plains of … Sicily — Elizabeth B. Browning


a. : capable of meeting the requirements of a situation or a task

neither their financial resources nor their military organization were equal to the task — A.C.Flick

: capable of meeting a demand upon one's ability or resources

he was equal to extended walks by this time — T.B.Costain

b. : suitable , commensurate

work not equal to his abilities

5. archaic : not a matter of concern (as between alternatives)

it was equal to him whether he fell by his enemies in the field or by his creditors in the city — Oliver Goldsmith

Synonyms: see same

II. noun

( -s )

1. : one that is equal in status (as social position), achievement, or a particular quality : match

humankind as the law views it is a society of equals — B.N.Cardozo

hardly a man his equal in the field — Elizabeth M. Roberts

he has no equal in common sense and honesty

2. obsolete : contemporary

profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation — Gal 1:14 (Authorized Version)

3. : an equal quantity or number

if equals are taken from equals, the remainders are equal

4. : one of two or more playing cards held by one player that are consecutive or equivalent in rank

III. verb

( equaled or equalled ; equaled or equalled ; equaling or equalling ; equals )

transitive verb


a. archaic : to compare or regard as equal especially in quality

equaling the pleasures of war to social festivity — Sharon Turner

b. archaic : to make equal especially in ability or condition : equalize

the fair democracy of flowers that equals cot and palace — J.G.Whittier

c. obsolete : to make equal in height (as with the ground) : level

cities have been equaled with the ground — Robert Hill

2. : to be equal to (as in quantity or quality)

the migrant population equaled the native population

for sheer relaxation and comfort I don't know anything to equal it — Keith Munro

specifically : to be identical in value to

two times two equals four

if the curve xy equals the arc AB

— symbol =


a. : to make or produce something equal to

equal that if you can

b. obsolete : to make equal return to

the ardent passion … which if he failed to equal — Henry Fielding

intransitive verb

obsolete : to be equal

we are so a body strong enough, even as we are, to equal with the king — Shakespeare

Synonyms: see match

IV. adverb

obsolete : equally

he is equal ravenous as he is subtle — Shakespeare

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.