From Middle English ever, from Old English ǣfre, originally a phrase whose first element undoubtedly consists of Old English ā (“ever, always”) + in (“in”) + an element possibly from feorh (“life, existence”) (dative fēore). Compare Old English ā tō fēore (“ever in life”), Old English feorhlīf (“life”).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈɛvə/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈɛvɚ/
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- Rhymes: -ɛvə(ɹ)
- Hyphenation: ev‧er
ever (not comparable)
- Always, frequently, forever.
- It was ever thus.
- 1592, George Savile, 1st Marquess of Halifax, An Advertisement […] concerning Seminary Priests
- […] the Lord Treasurer, who ever secretly feigned himself to be a Moderator and Mollifier of the Catholicks Afflictions […]
- 1860, Florence Nightingale, Suggestions for Thought to the searchers after truth among the artizans of England., page 302:
- Let us ever remember that our conception, our comprehension, our feeling of God must be ever imperfect, yet should be ever advancing. We must not make God: we must find Him and feel Him more and more.
- 1907 August, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, chapter IX, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, →OCLC:
- “A tight little craft,” was Austin’s invariable comment on the matron; […]. ¶ Near her wandered her husband, orientally bland, invariably affable, and from time to time squinting sideways, as usual, in the ever-renewed expectation that he might catch a glimpse of his stiff, retroussé moustache.
- 1993, Nancy K. Florida, Javanese Literature in Surakarta Manuscripts: Introduction and manuscripts of the Karaton Surakarta, SEAP Publications, →ISBN, page 9:
- The library staffs of the Karaton Surakarta's Sasana Pustaka, the Mangku- nagaran's Reksa Pustaka, and the Museum Radyapustaka were ever helpful and generous with their time.
- 2007, Roman Frydman; Michael D. Goldberg, Imperfect Knowledge Economics: Exchange Rates and Risk, Princeton University Press, →ISBN:
- As with the rest of macroeconomics, the issues have to be rethought in a way that makes the ever-imperfect knowledge of market participants and policymakers an integral part of the analysis.
- Continuously, constantly, all the time (for the complete duration).
- People struggled to cope with the ever-increasing cost of living.
- 1851 November 14, Herman Melville, chapter 4, in Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers; London: Richard Bentley, →OCLC, page 29:
- For what seemed ages piled on ages, I lay there, frozen with the most awful fears, not daring to drag away my hand; yet ever thinking that if I could but stir it one single inch, the horrid spell would be broken.
- At any time.
- If that ever happens, we’re in deep trouble
- He's back and better than ever.
- We've only ever talked on the phone.
- 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter III, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., →OCLC:
- Now all this was very fine, but not at all in keeping with the Celebrity's character as I had come to conceive it. The idea that adulation ever cloyed on him was ludicrous in itself. In fact I thought the whole story fishy, and came very near to saying so.
- 2019 February 3, “UN Study: China, US, Japan Lead World AI Development”, in Voice of America, archived from the original on 7 February 2019:
- He said the study provides clear evidence that AI technologies are growing at a faster rate than ever and will continue to do so.
Audio (US) (file)
- In any way.
- How can I ever get there in time?
- (informal) As intensifier following an interrogative word.
- Was I ever glad to see you!
- Did I ever!
- (always): See Thesaurus:forever
- (at any time):
- (in any way):
- (intensifier): See Thesaurus:the dickens
- (always): See Thesaurus:never
- as ever
- as ever trod shoe leather
- as ever trod shoe-leather
- ever after
- ever and anon
- ever and ever
- ever since
- ever smoker
- ever so
- ever-growing, evergrowing
- everchanging, ever-changing
- evershifting, ever-shifting
- for ever
- for ever and ever
- for ever more
- forever and ever
- greatest story ever told
- happily ever after
- happy ever after
- if ever there was one
- never ever
- never ever have I
- never have I ever
- no good deed ever goes unpunished
- no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public
- no one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American people
- no one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public
- nobody ever went broke underestimating the good taste of the American people
- nobody ever went broke underestimating the good taste of the American public
- nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people
- nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public
- nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American people
- nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public
- said no one ever
- seldom or ever
- that ever walked on two legs
- yours ever
continuously, constantly, all the time
at any time
in any way
intensifier following an interrogative word
ever (not comparable)
- (epidemiology) Occurring at any time, occurring even but once during a timespan.
- 1965, Reuben Hill, The family and population control: a Puerto Rican experiment in social change:
- This family empathy measure is highly related to ever use of birth control but not to any measure of continuous use.
- (dialectal and informal) Shortening of every
- 1989, Connie Jordan Green, The War at Home, page 16:
- "Ever place you look there's houses and more houses."
- 2011, Lee Smith, Oral History, →ISBN:
- Queen Anne's lace ever place you look.
- 2011, Michael Blair, Nub and Bow in History, page 27:
- A sign at the entrance to the road going up Snake Hollow reads, “Snake Hollow is a wonderful place to be, Ever place you look there is a beautiful green tree. Snake Hollow makes you feel alive and free.” Lets keep it that way, for you and me.
- ever at OneLook Dictionary Search
From Middle Dutch ēver, from Old Dutch *evur, from Proto-West Germanic *ebur. Cognate with Latin aper, Proto-Slavic *veprь (“wild boar”).
ever m (plural evers, diminutive evertje n)
- (colloquial, youth slang) ever (with superlative)
- Synonym: aller Zeiten
- Das war das geilste Konzert ever.
- That was the greatest concert ever.
From Old English ǣfre.
- “ē̆ver, adv.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
- indefinite plural of eve
- indefinite plural of eva (non-standard since 2012)