Definition of equal noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈiːkwəl//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈiːkwəl//
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  •  a person or thing of the same quality or with the same status, rights, etc. as another She treats the people who work for her as her equals. Our cars are the equal of those produced anywhere in the world.
  • Word Originlate Middle English: from Latin aequalis, from aequus ‘even, level, equal’.Extra examples An interview should be a conversation between equals. He did not regard himself as her intellectual equal. He talks even to small children as equals. He was regarded as the ‘first among equals’ by the other office clerks. His guitar playing is without equal. I shall never be his equal at chess. In fighting, they had no equals. When it comes to plain speaking, she has few equals. As a poet, he had few equals.Idioms
    be without equal, have no equal
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    (formal) to be better than anything else or anyone else of the same type He is a player without equal. As a family holiday destination, the seaside has no equal.
    the person or thing with the highest status in a group
    some (people, members, etc.) are more equal than others
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    (saying) although the members of a society, group, etc. appear to be equal, some, in fact, get better treatment than others This phrase is used by one of the pigs in the book ‘Animal Farm’ by George Orwell: ‘All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.’
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: equal