Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1300-1400
Language: Latin
Origin: aequalis, from aequus 'level, equal'

equal

1 adjective
     
Related topics: Maths, Numbers
e‧qual1 S1 W2
1

same

the same in size, number, amount, value etc as something else [↪ equivalent]
equal number/amount (of something)
Both candidates received an equal number of votes.
(of) equal value/importance
They believe that all work is of equal value.
equal in size/length/height etc
The two towns are roughly equal in size.
equal to
The rent was equal to half his monthly income.
2

same rights/chances

having the same rights, opportunities etc as everyone else, whatever your race, religion, or sex:
Our constitution states that all men are equal.
Our education system should provide equal opportunities for all children.
The government is committed to achieving equal rights for women.
3

be equal to something

a) to have the ability to deal with a problem, piece of work etc successfully [= be up to]:
I'm not sure he's equal to the task.
Are you equal to this challenge?
b) to be as good as something else:
The architecture here is equal to any in the world.
4

on equal terms/on an equal footing

with neither side having any advantage over the other:
This law will help small businesses to compete on equal terms with large multinational corporations.
5

all (other) things being equal

spoken if things are as you normally expect them to be:
All things being equal, a small car will cost less than a larger one.

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