I. adjective Date: 1565 1. a. not of the same measurement, quantity, or number as another b. not like or not the same as another in degree, worth, or status 2. not uniform ; variable, uneven 3. a. badly balanced or matched <
an unequal contest
b. contracted between unequals <
unequal marriages
c. archaic not equable 4. archaic not equitable ; unjust 5. inadequate, insufficient <
unequal to the task
unequally adverb II. noun Date: 1600 one that is not equal to another III. adverb Date: 1602 archaic in an unequal manner <
unequal match'd — Shakespeare

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • unequal — UK US /ʌnˈiːkwəl/ adjective ► not divided or given in the same amounts to all the people or organizations in a group, so that some people or organizations have more money, resources, etc. than others: »Pension provision is becoming increasingly… …   Financial and business terms

  • Unequal — Un*e qual, a. [Cf. {Inequal}.] 1. Not equal; not matched; not of the same size, length, breadth, quantity, strength, talents, acquirements, age, station, or the like; as, the fingers are of unequal length; peers and commoners are unequal in rank …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • unequal — [un ē′kwəl] adj. 1. not equal, as in size, strength, ability, value, rank, number, amount, etc. 2. a) not balanced or symmetrical [an unequal pattern] b) that matches unequal contestants [an unequal battle] 3. not even, regular, or uniform;… …   English World dictionary

  • unequal — In its meaning ‘inadequate in ability or resources’, unequal is used with to followed by a noun or verbal noun (They were unequal to the task / They were unequal to completing the task) …   Modern English usage

  • unequal — I (unequivalent) adjective different, differing, dispar, disparate, disproportionate, dissimilar, impar, inaequalis, irregular, unbalanced, uneven, unlike, unmatched associated concepts: unequal bargaining powers II (unjust) …   Law dictionary

  • unequal — [adj1] different differing, disparate, dissimilar, distant, divergent, diverse, incommensurate, like night and day*, mismatched, not uniform, odd, poles apart*, unalike, unequivalent, uneven, unlike, unmatched, unsimilar, variable, various,… …   New thesaurus

  • unequal — ► ADJECTIVE 1) not equal in quantity, size, or value. 2) not fair, evenly balanced, or having equal advantage. 3) (usu. unequal to) not having the ability or resources to meet a challenge. DERIVATIVES unequally adverb …   English terms dictionary

  • unequal — 1530s, unjust, unfair, from UN (Cf. un ) (1) not + EQUAL (Cf. equal). Meaning not the same in amount, size, quality, etc. is recorded from 1560s (inequal in this sense is from late 14c.). Sense of inadequate, insufficient (to some task) is… …   Etymology dictionary

  • unequal — [[t]ʌ̱ni͟ːkwəl[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED: usu ADJ n An unequal system or situation is unfair because it gives more power or privileges to one person or group of people than to others. This country still had a deeply oppressive, unequal and divisive… …   English dictionary

  • unequal — un|e|qual [ʌnˈi:kwəl] adj 1.) used to describe a situation or a social system which is unfair because some groups or people have more power than others →↑inequality ▪ an unequal contest ▪ the unequal distribution of wealth 2.) not equal in number …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • unequal — adjective 1 not equal in number, amount, or level: of unequal size/length etc: two posts of unequal length | be/unequal in size/weight etc: the baskets were unequal in weight and looked likely to topple 2 unfairly treating different people or… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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