from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The state or quality of being equal.
  • noun Mathematics A statement, usually an equation, that one thing equals another.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The state of being equal; identity in magnitude or dimensions, value, qualities, degree, etc.; the state of being neither superior nor inferior, greater nor less, better nor worse, stronger nor weaker, etc., with regard to the thing or things compared.
  • noun Evenness; uniformity; sameness in state or continued course; equableness: as, equality of surface; an equality of temper or constitution.
  • noun In other cases, to indicate equality or equivalence of sense: as, Latin gratias = thanks.
  • noun In a limited use, as in the etymologies of this dictionary, to indicate specifically equality (ultimate identity) of form: as, English two = Latin duo = Greek δύο = Sanskrit dva.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The condition or quality of being equal; agreement in quantity or degree as compared; likeness in bulk, value, rank, properties, etc.
  • noun Sameness in state or continued course; evenness; uniformity.
  • noun Evenness; uniformity.
  • noun (Math.) Exact agreement between two expressions or magnitudes with respect to quantity; -- denoted by the symbol =; thus, a = x signifies that a contains the same number and kind of units of measure that x does.
  • noun See under Confessional.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun uncountable The fact of being equal.
  • noun uncountable (mathematics) The fact of being equal, of having the same value.
  • noun uncountable The equal treatment of people irrespective of social or cultural differences.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the quality of being the same in quantity or measure or value or status
  • noun a state of being essentially equal or equivalent; equally balanced


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English equalite, from Old French, from Latin aequālitās, from aequālis, equal; see equal.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin aequālitās.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word equality.


  • More significantly, the implications a principle of equality has for health may also depend on how ˜equality™ itself is understood.

    Justice, Inequality, and Health Sreenivasan, Gopal 2008

  • I take it that this is the gist of the reason why the so-called social equality is so repulsive to theorists who have not comprehended the great difference between social _equality_ and social

    Brook Farm John Thomas Codman

  • The same order of experiences out of which this general idea of equality is evolved, gives birth at the same time to a more complex idea of equality; or, rather, the process just described generates an idea of equality which further experience separates into two ideas -- _equality of things_ and _equality of relations_.

    Essays on Education and Kindred Subjects Everyman's Library Herbert Spencer 1861

  • For it is the peculiarity of linear extension that it alone allows its magnitudes to be placed in _absolute_ juxtaposition, or, rather, in coincident position; it alone can test the equality of two magnitudes by observing whether they will coalesce, as two equal mathematical lines do, when placed between the same points; it alone can test _equality_ by trying whether it will become _identity_.

    Essays on Education and Kindred Subjects Everyman's Library Herbert Spencer 1861

  • Aristotle has made yet another wise and profound observation on the question of equality: "_We must establish equality_," he said, "_in the passions rather than in the fortunes of men.

    The Cult of Incompetence ��mile Faguet 1881

  • Firstly, our strong belief in equality is important here.

    2009 November « My Political Ramblings… 2009

  • Firstly, our strong belief in equality is important here.

    Failed defeat of homophobic “free speech” amendment shows the need for House of Lords reform « My Liberal Democrat Political Ramblings… 2009

  • The more we talk about abstract notions of freedom and equality, the more we forget that Christian love these days is about sticking it to the other guy, and that equality is code for "handouts".

    Pyrrhus Revisited: How Bush can turn legislative losses into electoral victory - and we could, too 2006

  • Modernity uses - or rather abuses - the term equality in two incompatible and self-canceling ways and in a verbal sleight of exasperating slipperiness.

    The Brussels Journal - The Voice of Conservatism in Europe 2009

  • When therefore the mind is accustomed to these judgments and their corrections, and finds that the same proportion which makes two figures have in the eye that appearance, which we call equality, makes them also correspond to each other, and to any common measure, with which they are compared, we form a mixed notion of equality derived both from the looser and stricter methods of comparison.

    A Treatise of Human Nature David Hume 1743


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.