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equal

[ee-kwuh l]
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adjective
  1. as great as; the same as (often followed by to or with): The velocity of sound is not equal to that of light.
  2. like or alike in quantity, degree, value, etc.; of the same rank, ability, merit, etc.: two students of equal brilliance.
  3. evenly proportioned or balanced: an equal contest.
  4. uniform in operation or effect: equal laws.
  5. adequate or sufficient in quantity or degree: The supply is equal to the demand.
  6. having adequate powers, ability, or means: He was equal to the task.
  7. level, as a plain.
  8. tranquil or undisturbed: to confront death with an equal mind.
  9. impartial or equitable.
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noun
  1. a person or thing that is equal.
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verb (used with object), e·qualed, e·qual·ing or (especially British) e·qualled, e·qual·ling.
  1. to be or become equal to; meet or match: So far the rate of production doesn't equal the demand. If A equals B and B equals C, then A equals C.
  2. to make or do something equal to: No matter how he tries, he can't equal his brother's achievements.
  3. Archaic. to make equal; equalize.
  4. Obsolete. to recompense fully.
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Origin of equal

1350–1400; Middle English (adj.) < Latin aequālis equal, like, equivalent to aequ(us) even, plain, just + -ālis -al1
Related formsnon·e·qual, adjective, nounqua·si-e·qual, adjectivequa·si-e·qual·ly, adverbsub·e·qual, adjectivesub·e·qual·ly, adverb

Synonyms

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2. proportionate, commensurate, coordinate, correspondent. Equal, equivalent, tantamount imply a correspondence between two or more things. Equal indicates a correspondence in all respects or in a particular respect: A dime is equal to 10 cents (that is, in purchasing power). Equivalent indicates a correspondence in one or more respects, but not in all: An egg is said to be the equivalent of a pound of meat in nutritive value. Tantamount, a word of limited application, is used of immaterial things that are equivalent: The prisoner's refusal to answer was tantamount to an admission of guilt. 4. even, uniform, regular, unvarying, invariant. 6. suited, fitted. 10. peer, compeer, match, mate, fellow.

Antonyms

2. different. 6. inadequate.

Usage note

1–9. See unique.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for equal to

equal

adjective
  1. (often foll by to or with) identical in size, quantity, degree, intensity, etc; the same (as)
  2. having identical privileges, rights, status, etcall men are equal before the law
  3. having uniform effect or applicationequal opportunities
  4. evenly balanced or proportionedthe game was equal between the teams
  5. (usually foll by to) having the necessary or adequate strength, ability, means, etc (for)to be equal to one's work
  6. another word for equivalent (def. 3a)
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noun
  1. a person or thing equal to another, esp in merit, ability, etche has no equal when it comes to boxing
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verb equals, equalling or equalled or US equals, equaling or equaled
  1. (tr) to be equal to; correspond to; matchmy offer equals his
  2. (intr usually foll by out) to become equal or level
  3. (tr) to make, perform, or do something equal toto equal the world record
  4. (tr) archaic to make equal
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Derived Formsequally, adverb

Word Origin

C14: from Latin aequālis, from aequus level, of obscure origin

usage

The use of more equal as in from now on their relationship will be a more equal one is acceptable in modern English usage. Equally is preferred to equally as in sentences such as reassuring the victims is equally important. Just as is preferred to equally as in sentences such as their surprise was just as great as his
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for equal to

equal

v.

1580s, "compare, liken," also "match, rival," from equal (adj.). Related: Equaled; equaling.

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equal

adj.

late 14c., from Latin aequalis "uniform, identical, equal," from aequus "level, even, just," of unknown origin. Parallel formation egal (from Old French egal) was in use late 14c.-17c. The noun is recorded from 1570s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with equal to

equal to

Adequate or fit in ability or extent, as in I'm not sure I'm equal to the task. [Late 1600s] Also see feel up to; up to.

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equal

In addition to the idioms beginning with equal

also see:

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.