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uneven

[uhn-ee-vuh n]
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adjective
  1. not level or flat; rough; rugged: The wheels bumped and jolted over the uneven surface.
  2. irregular; varying; not uniform: The book is uneven in quality.
  3. not equitable or fair; one-sided: an uneven contest.
  4. not equally balanced; not symmetrical or parallel.
  5. (of a number) odd; not divisible into two equal integers: The numerals 3, 5, and 7 are uneven.
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Origin of uneven

before 900; Middle English; Old English unefen; cognate with German uneben. See un-1, even1
Related formsun·e·ven·ly, adverbun·e·ven·ness, noun

Synonyms

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3. unfair, unequal, lopsided.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for uneven

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • They held the most uneven part of the center, where thickets and ravines were many.

    The Rock of Chickamauga

    Joseph A. Altsheler

  • He could not charge at any great speed, for the ground was steep and uneven.

  • This clipping is what causes the uneven quality of fur which appears in his picture.

    Concerning Cats

    Helen M. Winslow

  • It was a long, uneven, low building, evidently of ancient architecture.

    Vivian Grey

    Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli

  • She cut an uneven circle of half moons in it and put it in the oven.


British Dictionary definitions for uneven

uneven

adjective
  1. (of a surface, etc) not level or flat
  2. spasmodic or variable
  3. not parallel, straight, or horizontal
  4. not fairly matchedan uneven race
  5. archaic not equal
  6. obsolete unjust
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Derived Formsunevenly, adverbunevenness, noun
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 uneven

adj.

Old English unefen "unequal," from un- (1) "not" + even (adj.). Cf. Old Frisian oniovn, Middle Dutch oneven, Old High German uneban, German uneben, Old Norse ujafn. Meaning "irregular, broken, rugged" (in reference to terrain, etc.) is recorded from late 13c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper