The Definitions of Equality

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To emphasize the significance of word meanings

The author uses the term Equality, which is a significant term used in multiple dimensions and fields of discipline. The word Equality has been described by many dictionaries. This essay examines the definitions and controversies in documents, as well as the need for change in the term, before arriving at an all-encompassing definition.

Definition of Equality

The word equality is described by Thesaurus Dictionary as "being equal or to correspond in degree or worth, strength, or even rank." It goes on to describe the definition as "uniformity of character, as in motion or surface." Finally, it is described as a statement stating that two quantities are identical. Another dictionary is Webster dictionary that defines equality as the quality of being equal (Webster). Also, the Law Dictionary definition is towards the expression of sameness either in the number, measure of a thing or even the quantity. It further provides that the expressions would more often than not relate to the elements of power or the societal status at one particular time (Claphamet, christopher & James 234). Oxford Dictionary takes similar dimension on equality as expressing equal access to similar rights or status in a society as well as opportunities in life. Alternatively, it defines the term as a mathematical concept to mean the expression of the fact that two quantities are equal or that there is an equation.

Educational Equality, Equity, and Justice

In the article The Difference between Educational Equality, Equity and Justice and Why it Matters, what amounts to the educational equality, educational equity is discussed. It is that the term equality and equity orient policy and thinking in different ways. However, he continues to note that most writers often misunderstand the difference between equality and the term equity. Better still, he does find that most writers often misuse the term equality (Levitan 59). In the educational setting, the article notes that equality demands that schools should offer the same education to the children. Equity, on the other hand, is based is based on giving of education to achieve certain outcomes. Further, it is his opinion that equality is sameness that only works when people are on the same level or height. To achieve equality, it must, therefore, be preceded by equity.

The definitions of Equality from prior Dictionary definitions

The definitions of Equality from prior Dictionary definitions have a similar position that it involves the state of being equal. This assertion has not been part of any previous debate. As such, it is clear that the term equality is a state of things and is a mere representative of quality. Therefore, the term equality is an intangible idea. This part of the definition as it is adopted across the Dictionaries has stood the test of time and should, therefore, remain over time as the definitive foundational words.

Multi-dimensional aspect of term equality

Also notable is the multi-dimensional aspect in the definition of equality. Both Thesaurus and the Oxford Dictionaries have demonstrated that the term equality may be defined from the mathematical points specifically when dealing with the mathematical equations of equal sums (Clapham, christopher & James 237). The definitions have gone further to identify other areas in which equality can be expressed such as rights and opportunities. However, it is apparent that the definitions are still devoid of covering all the areas and the disciplines that equality may be said to traverse. This is because equality has social, political, legal, economic, and technological and many more aspects. The use of equality in status or rights as expressed in the Law Dictionary is good but not enough attempt to cover all the possibilities. To cover all the eventualities of equality, the definition ought to rise above the time and subject matter bias to cover all aspects of the life of a human being, both external and internal. Such aspects as gender, sexual, racial and marriage equality among others can be covered by the introduction of an omnibus term to the definition.

The cultural aspect of term equality

Again, there is the cultural aspect of term equality. The definitions adopted by dictionaries restrict the definition of equality to sameness in abstract terms. However, in practice what is equality may not reflect sameness while still being accepted by the society as amounting to equal treatment. Equality should, therefore, be extended to include the societal view on whether the acts constitute equality. The rationale is that equality is either of human beings or other things in the view of human beings. For example, in some societies, equality is subjected to a progressive realization and at one particular time, what exists is referred to and acknowledged as equality even if it does not relate to sameness.


In conclusion, the term sameness used by most dictionaries ought to change due to the implementation complications which it brings to the term of equality. Most authors are of the opinion that equality cannot be achieved unless there is sameness. Therefore, equality itself is not self-sufficient. Possibly, definition of equality should include the elements of quality or condition of its considerations in the multi-faceted dimensions of human life. This should include the internal and external aspects of human life in society's perspective. Additionally, the state or quality is preceded by equity.

Works Cited

Clapham P, Christopher V, James N. The Concise Oxford dictionary of mathematics.Oxford,

OUP Oxford, 2009.

Merriam Webster. "Webster Dictionary". Merriam Webster, 18 September 2017,

http://www. htm. Accessed 18 Sep. 2017.

Levitan, John. "The Difference between educational equality, equity and justice and why it

matters". (AM J Education Forum, 2016, pp.58)

November 03, 2022

Law Sociology



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Equality Value Society

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