1. Agreeing in quantity, size, quality, degree, value, etc.; having the same magnitude, the same value, the same degree, etc.; applied to number, degree, quantity, and intensity, and to any subject which admits of them; neither inferior nor superior, greater nor less, better nor worse; corresponding; alike; as, equal quantities of land, water, etc.; houses of equal size; persons of equal stature or talents; commodities of equal value.
2. Bearing a suitable relation; of just proportion; having competent power, abilities, or means; adequate; as, he is not equal to the task. "The Scots trusted not their own numbers as equal to fight with the English." (Clarendon) "It is not permitted to me to make my commendations equal to your merit." (Dryden) "Whose voice an equal messenger Conveyed thy meaning mild." (Emerson)
4. Evenly balanced; not unduly inclining to either side; characterised by fairness; unbiased; impartial; equitable; just. "Are not my ways equal?" (Ezek. Xviii. 29) "Thee, O Jove, no equal judge I deem." (Spenser) "Nor think it equal to answer deliberate reason with sudden heat and noise." (Milton)
Origin: L. Aequalis, fr. Aequus even, equal; akin to Skr. Ka, and perh. To L. Unus for older oinos one, E. One.
(01 Mar 1998)
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