- not equal; not of the same quantity, quality, value, rank, ability, etc.: People are unequal in their capacities.
- not adequate, as in amount, power, ability, etc. (usually followed by to): strength unequal to the task.
- not evenly proportioned or balanced; not having the parts alike or symmetrical: an unequal leaf.
- uneven or variable in character, quality, etc.
- Obsolete. inequitable; unfair; unjust.
- unequals, persons or things not equal to each other: a contest between obvious unequals.
Origin of unequal
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for unequal
But at the same time, markets involve people in new roles and relationships, which can feel just as mandatory and unequal.
The problem comes in when unequal economic power extorts emotional work.
This has produced an unearthing of the unequal and unfair policing of African Americans rampant across this nation.From the Levant to Ferguson to Baltimore, The Most Violent Summer in Years
September 14, 2014
The soul of the nation is at stake as long as America maintains vicious rule over separate and unequal legal systems.How We Got to Ferguson—a Reading List
August 23, 2014
No one can convince me, however, that life in America would be better if blacks and whites had stayed separate and unequal.Somewhere Over the Separation Barrier
December 18, 2013
It is an unequal bargain, where one side does all the loving.Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
He saw, too, that she was stiffening herself as if for some unequal contest.The Fortune Hunter
Louis Joseph Vance
But for my day's fast I should have been unequal to this, or to the crude output of their frying-pans.
He seemed fascinated and yet unequal to a straight look at me.
He did not dare express all his rancour, while he was unequal to suppressing it entirely.Homeward Bound
James Fenimore Cooper
- not equal in quantity, size, rank, value, etc
- (foll by to) inadequate; insufficient
- not evenly balanced
- (of character, quality, etc) irregular; varying; inconsistent
- (of a contest, etc) having competitors of different ability
- obsolete unjust
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 unequal
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper