Please help me figure out the meaning of "match by" in the following sentence:

"When, after 1850, governments began to rid cities of some of their worst slums, many working class men and women discovered that urban ‘improvement’ meant relocation into dreary ‘model’ tenements, whose amenities were matched by their barrack like anonymity; or removal from one dilapidated structure to another in the wake of a clearance scheme—the nineteenth century called it ‘ventilation’—that replaced ancient, overcrowded housing with a more sanitary—and for the landlord, more profitable—railway switching yard."

For more context, please visit the following link:


2 Answers 2


matched by — equal to — as bad as

Residents were moved from homes in an area which had "life and soul" to invented accomodation, where there was nothing for them. Every aspect of the new life was equally bad.

  • Thanks. In the given sentence, where did you find the words that mean "life and soul"?
    – curious
    Commented Sep 24, 2017 at 23:29
  • In the antithesis of "barrack like anonymity". Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 0:37
  • The words "barrack like anonymity" are related to "dreary model tenements". In my view, they cannot be considered the antithesis of "barrack like anonymity".
    – curious
    Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 2:40

The phrase "matched by" in your quote is being used to imply similarity.

Similarity has two aspects:

  1. resemblance: the anonymity was stark and plain ("barrack-like"), just like the amenities.

  2. correspondence: the anonymity (lacking individuality) and the state of the amenities were both related to an obvious lack of concern for any aesthetic (the tenements were "dreary").

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .