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


  • enPR: ēk'wəl, IPA(key): /ˈiːkwəl/
  • (file)
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  • Rhymes: -iːkwəl


equal (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.
    • (Can we date this quote?) George Cheyne
      They who are not disposed to receive them may let them alone or reject them; it is equal to me.
  2. (mathematics, not comparable) Exactly identical, having the same value.
    All right angles are equal.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 10, in The Celebrity:
      The skipper Mr. Cooke had hired at Far Harbor was a God-fearing man with a luke warm interest in his new billet and employer, and had only been prevailed upon to take charge of the yacht after the offer of an emolument equal to half a year's sea pay of an ensign in the navy.
  3. (obsolete) Fair, impartial.
    • 1644, John Milton, Aeropagitica:
      it could not but much redound to the lustre of your milde and equall Government, when as private persons are hereby animated to thinke ye better pleas'd with publick advice, then other statists have been delighted heretofore with publicke flattery.
    • Bible, Ezekiel xviii. 29
      Are not my ways equal?
    • (Can we date this quote?) Edmund Spenser
      Thee, O Jove, no equal judge I deem.
  4. (comparable) Adequate; sufficiently capable or qualified.
    This test is pretty tough, but I think I'm equal to it.
    • 1881, Jane Austen, Emma, page 311
      her comprehension was certainly more equal to the covert meaning, the superior intelligence, of those five letters so arranged.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Earl of Clarendon
      The Scots trusted not their own numbers as equal to fight with the English.
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Dryden
      It is not permitted to me to make my commendations equal to your merit.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Ralph Waldo Emerson
      [] whose voice an equal messenger / Conveyed thy meaning mild.
  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 notesEdit

  • 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 translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


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

  1. (mathematics) 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.
    • 2004, Mary Levy and 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.
    David equaled the water levels of the bottles, so they now both contain exactly 1 liter.
  3. (informal) To have as its consequence.
    Losing this deal equals losing your job.
    Might does not equal right.




equal (plural equals)

  1. A person or thing of equal status to others.
    We're all equals here.
    This beer has no equal.
    • Addison (Can we date this quote?)
      Those who were once his equals envy and defame him.
    • 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.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)


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

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit