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Equal vs. Identical: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on January 12, 2024
"Equal" means being the same in quantity, size, degree, or value, while "identical" means exactly the same, without any difference.

Key Differences

"Equal" implies a similarity in terms of value, amount, or quantity. It suggests a comparison where two or more items have the same measure or value. "Identical," however, refers to two or more items being exactly the same in every aspect.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 12, 2024
In mathematics, "equal" is used to denote equivalence in value, such as 2 + 2 equals 4. "Identical" in a mathematical sense would mean two expressions are exactly the same in form and value, like two copies of the same equation.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 12, 2024
"Equal" is often used in a broader context, like in discussions of rights where individuals are said to be equal, implying they have the same rights and status. "Identical" is used when two objects share the same characteristics in every detail, like identical twins.
Huma Saeed
Jan 12, 2024
"Equal" can also imply fairness and balance in treatment or distribution, such as equal opportunities for all. "Identical" is more about absolute sameness, like two products coming off the same manufacturing line.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 12, 2024
In a legal context, "equal" might refer to equal treatment under the law, whereas "identical" would mean two legal documents are exactly the same, word for word.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 12, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Meaning

Same in value, size, degree, or quantity
Exactly the same in every detail
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 12, 2024

Contextual Use

Broader contexts like rights, opportunities
Specific contexts like appearance, composition
Huma Saeed
Jan 12, 2024

Mathematical Usage

Denoting equivalence in value
Indicating exact sameness in form and value
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 12, 2024

Implication in Differences

May have differences in other aspects
No differences in any aspect
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 12, 2024

Legal Usage

Equality in treatment or rights
Exact sameness in documents or clauses
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 12, 2024
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Equal and Identical Definitions

Equal

Having the same value.
The two sides of the equation are equal.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 13, 2023

Identical

Exactly the same in every detail.
The two paintings were identical.
Huma Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Equal

Fair and balanced.
All team members should have equal responsibilities.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 13, 2023

Identical

Being the very same one.
She bought two identical dresses.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 13, 2023

Equal

Showing no variation in condition or character.
The competitors were equal in skill.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 13, 2023

Identical

Duplication without any difference.
The copies were identical to the original.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 13, 2023

Equal

The same in status or rights.
Every citizen is equal under the law.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 13, 2023

Identical

Similar in every aspect.
The twins have identical features.
Harlon Moss
Dec 13, 2023

Equal

Equivalent in quantity or measure.
Divide the cake into equal parts.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 13, 2023

Identical

Perfectly alike, without any disparity.
Their responses were identical.
Harlon Moss
Dec 13, 2023

Equal

Having the same quantity, measure, or value as another.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 12, 2023

Identical

Being the same
Another orator who used the senator's identical words.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 12, 2023

Equal

(Mathematics) Being the same or identical to in value.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 12, 2023

FAQs

Is "identical" used in mathematics?

Yes, to indicate exact sameness in equations or values.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 12, 2024

Are "equal" and "identical" interchangeable?

Not always, as "identical" suggests a higher degree of sameness.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 12, 2024

How is "identical" different from "equal"?

"Identical" means being exactly the same in every detail.
Huma Saeed
Jan 12, 2024

Can objects be identical but not equal?

Rarely, as "identical" usually encompasses being "equal."
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 12, 2024

How is "equal" used in social contexts?

To suggest fairness and balance in rights and opportunities.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 12, 2024

Can "equal" be used in a legal context?

Yes, it's often used to denote equality under the law.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 12, 2024

Does "equal" always mean identical?

No, "equal" can mean same in value but not necessarily identical.
Janet White
Jan 12, 2024

Does "equal" suggest mathematical equivalence?

Yes, in equations or when comparing quantities.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 12, 2024

What does "equal" signify in general terms?

It signifies sameness in value, rights, or quantity.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 12, 2024

Is "equal" used in discussions of gender equality?

Yes, frequently in the context of equal rights.
Janet White
Jan 12, 2024

Is "identical" used in fashion?

Yes, for clothes or accessories that are exactly the same.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 12, 2024

Can "equal" be used in sports?

Yes, for teams or scores that are evenly matched.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 12, 2024

Is "identical" a common term in genetics?

Yes, especially when referring to identical twins.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 12, 2024

Can "identical" refer to identical twins?

Yes, it's commonly used in this context.
Janet White
Jan 12, 2024

Is "identical" relevant in manufacturing?

Yes, for products that are made to be exactly the same.
Janet White
Jan 12, 2024

Is "equal" a concept in economics?

Yes, often in the context of equal distribution of resources.
Harlon Moss
Jan 12, 2024

Can "equal" imply different forms but same value?

Yes, like different shapes having equal area.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 12, 2024

How is "equal" used in the context of relationships?

To imply fairness and balance in treatment and responsibilities.
Harlon Moss
Jan 12, 2024

Does "identical" mean the same as "replica"?

Yes, in the sense of being an exact copy.
Janet White
Jan 12, 2024

Can "identical" apply to feelings or opinions?

Yes, when they are exactly the same.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 12, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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