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Is there a one-word adjective for two people (or objects) of the same weight?

I think the two sides of the political spectrum are substantially and inherently different. One can't just see them as two [adjective-in-question] opponents fighting it out.

How about a compound adjective? Say, for two martial artists; Is there an attributive adjective for their weights being equal? (One similar to like-minded maybe.)

  • 5
    ... two matched opponents ... – Nigel J Jan 13 at 1:30
  • Please don't name your post with the information that should go in a tag. It will make searches difficult in the future. It should be a capsule summary of the meat of your question. – Robusto Jan 13 at 1:36
  • It's common in political journalism to refer to "two heavyweights" or "two lightweights" in competition with each other. Obviously this requires making a judgment of their weight before knowing which to use. Examples: independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/… bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-europe-35128341/… – Stuart F Jan 13 at 10:07
  • 1
    The rare compound equal-weighted does exist, but is perhaps mainly used in the financial domain. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 13 at 13:30
  • equal caliber – Mazura Jan 13 at 16:16
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The word that has exactly the meaning that is sought here is equiponderous. Its advantage over the words proposed in the other answers is that it specifically means being of the same weight (which is what the OP asked for), rather than just being similar, comparable, matched in some way. Its disadvantages are, first, that it is arguably obsolete, and second that, even if one does not regarded it as obsolete, it is likely to be understood only by a small percentage of English speakers. So, if one wants to use a word that means of the same weight, one should say equiponderous, but if one wants to be certain that one will be understood by average people, one is likely to be better off using one of the other words proposed on this page, which do not have exactly that meaning, but are close enough.

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    Of course, MW lists it as "obsolete". – Hot Licks Jan 14 at 0:10
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Balanced:

being in a state of balance : having different parts or elements properly or effectively arranged, proportioned, regulated, considered, etc.

  • This, unlike the others, at least connotes weight, though probably the original narrow meaning has been subsumed. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 13 at 13:27
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Matched

  1. Put together as associates or equals; consisting of equals, or of complementary or corresponding elements. Frequently as the second element in compounds, as well-, ill-matched, etc. (for more established compounds see the first element).

Oxford English Dictionary

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    In the context of OP's example, in AE, one would use "equally matched". ...One can't just see them as two equally matched opponents fighting it out. If two opponents are not "equally matched" one of them will be "outclassed" and most likely defeated. – geneSummons Jan 13 at 21:29
  • I think the problem with this answer (along with "commensurate" in its typical sense and "on par"), is that the example sentence isn't claiming they're mismatched. It's just implying they have different strengths and weaknesses. A light-weight but very fit fighter, versus a heavy but out-of-shape fighter, can still be a fair fight, but it's not as simple to predict a winner as "fighter 2 is stronger and will probably win". – MichaelS Jan 14 at 3:08
  • @MichaelS This may not be as literal as what was asked in that it's not specifically about weight, but in the given example sentence, this (or "balanced") works far better than the currently accepted answer, and will be much more universally understood. – Darrel Hoffman Jan 14 at 17:57
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The term equivalent is apropos:

3: corresponding or virtually identical especially in effect or function

MW

Although equivalent has other definitions, the above indication that both sides can't be seen as having the same function seems to make you point.

4

In a literal sense, commensurate means exactly that:

1: corresponding in size, extent, amount, or degree

2: equal in measure or extent

MW

In my experience, "commensurate" is typically used to describe qualitative properties (e.g. matching a punishment to a crime). It doesn't drop into your sample sentence perfectly, though.

3

They're on on par with each other, or not.

par - common level

on par with - the same as or equal to someone or something

1

While not exactly what OP asked for, it could be noted that for matched or mismatched weight/strength opponents in some competitive field, including politics, it is quite common to refer to their skill or status as "weight", as if they were boxers: heavyweight or lightweight. Heavyweight implying substantial achievement in the field.

So, rewriting the original quote, it could be said:

I think the two sides of the political spectrum are substantially and inherently different. One can't just see them as two heavyweights fighting it out.

0

isobaric

If you're comfortable with a tinge of neologism, I'd suggest 'isobaric'. The Greek root 'baro' means pressure or weight (google 'greek root word baro'). Scientists use the term most commonly to mean contours of equal pressure, for example on weather maps, but this proposed new connotation is a stretch neither in the vernacular nor in its classical roots. After all, the medical term 'bariatric surgery' refers to stomach stapling and other procedures ultimately intended to help control weight.

  • I'm not sure this passes the "will people in general understand without further explanation?" test. – user888379 Jan 15 at 18:32

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