Definition of unequal in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌənˈēkwəl/


1Not equal in quantity, size, or value: two rooms of unequal size unequal odds
More example sentences
  • Techniques for unequal sample sizes use modifications of critical values and standard errors.
  • In our analyses, we do not attempt to quantify amounts of observed overlap because of unequal sample sizes.
  • Moreover, if Mr. Lister is worried about schools of unequal size being formed, why wasn't Harrington Sound Primary trimmed back from its current three streams to two?
different, dissimilar, unalike, unlike, disparate, unmatched, uneven, irregular, varying, variable, asymmetrical
1.1Not fair, evenly balanced, or having equal advantage: the ownership of capital is unequal in this country
More example sentences
  • Power is always an asymmetrical relationship based on different knowledge and its unequal distribution.
  • As a result, an unequal distribution of power long has been perpetuated in the nurse-physician relationship.
  • The unequal distribution of power between managers and workers is the basic cause of the conflict between them.
unfair, unjust, disproportionate, inequitable, biased, askew
one-sided, uneven, unfair, ill-matched, unbalanced, lopsided, skewed
2 [predicative] Not having the ability or resources to meet a challenge: she felt unequal to the task before her
More example sentences
  • Bush is determined to keep the dynamism vibrant and to encourage and empower the poor to take part in it, rather than to suggest that they are unequal to the task.
  • Where law enforcement agencies are unequal to a task, it is the community that should rise as a man to fill in the breach.
  • For literary theoreticians, it is axiomatic that language is unequal to the task of encompassing reality.
inadequate for, incapable of, unqualified for, unsuited to, incompetent at, not up to
informal not cut out for


A person or thing considered to be different from another in status or level.
Example sentences
  • Before one can think of equality between unequals, the dwarf must be raised to the height of the giant.
  • This fear carries a tragic weight: it diminishes the possibility of trust among unequals; it inhibits confidence in or surrender to the judgment of others.
  • The researchers' explanation is that freer expression of conflict occurs more among peers than among unequals.



Pronunciation: /ˌənˈēkwəlē/
Example sentences
  • ‘The wealth is unequally distributed, so the social fabric is dysfunctioning,’ says Dessy.
  • Like money, it's always going to be unequally spread.
  • Another explanation that had been offered was the economic growth was real, but the gains were being distributed unequally.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: un·e·qual

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