Definition of never in English:

never

adverb

  • 1At no time in the past or future; not ever.

    ‘they had never been camping in their lives’
    ‘I will never ever forget it’
    • ‘She leapt out of bed and made him swear never ever to say anything like that again or it would put her off.’
    • ‘Throughout all this he never ever showed any remorse or any emotion for what he had done.’
    • ‘I've taken a lot of trips but never something that's taken so much to get to one place.’
    • ‘She said she has never heard of a single errant cyclist being brought to book in Kingston.’
    • ‘My visits to the cinema never stretch beyond the odd foray to the Glasgow film theatre.’
    • ‘He had never been late for training and if he was ever running late he would ring to let us know.’
    • ‘All very spooky and enough to make you never want to go near some parts of the Park ever again.’
    • ‘We should not be so foolish as to believe these things will never return in the future.’
    • ‘Nothing like this has ever happened in the area before and probably never will again.’
    • ‘He said he'd never had any experience with this and no one had ever raised this before.’
    • ‘By the time four days had elapsed I just thought that was it and I would never see it again.’
    • ‘Luke lives with his parents and grandparents on a farm that has never been painted.’
    • ‘According to them we never think about money and don't even know what an overdraft is.’
    • ‘Flora also talks of her hopes for the future and how she feels about the father she has never met.’
    • ‘She could never have such faith in the future, and that is why she chose not to have children.’
    • ‘I used to drive past it all the time in a previous job but never went into the grounds.’
    • ‘There was never a shortage in the past and it's too early to blame the lack of kids out playing.’
    • ‘It was a decade of my life that I will always hold dear to my heart and a time that will never be forgotten.’
    • ‘William had been on their minds ever since he left but he was never a topic between them.’
    • ‘He had never told his parents and only many years later told relatives what happened.’
    at no time, not at any time, not ever, not once, on no occasion
    View synonyms
  • 2Not at all.

    ‘he never turned up’
    • ‘The Prime Minister has never been one to let a past friendship get in the way of making a new ally.’
    • ‘Though never a love match, by then her affection had grown for the man two years her senior.’
    • ‘His putt never troubles the hole and it slips a few feet past for another difficult putt.’
    • ‘He certainly would never have got permission for a hotel, or even a six bedroom house.’
    not at all, certainly not, not for a moment, not in any circumstances, not under any circumstances, in no circumstances, under no circumstances, on no account
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    1. 2.1British informal as exclamation (expressing surprise) surely not.
      ‘What, you, Annabel? Never!’
      • ‘What me? Never!’

Phrases

  • never a one

    • Not one.

      ‘there are no paintings, never a one’
      • ‘And never a one of the fifty to sneer at a rival bride.’
      • ‘For all that, there's never a one of the fine fellows a word of his wouldn't send scuttling into the nearest rat-hole.’
      • ‘Through friends and family I have heard many stories of Holly with never a one being bad.’
      • ‘Never did a sheep wander away, never a one was attacked by wolves, never a one lost in foul weather.’
      • ‘The Dorset dialect jingle asks for a husband, and finishes by hoping for a good one, but anyone better than never a one.’
      • ‘There lived a King and Queen, who lamented day by day that they had no children, and yet never a one was born’
      • ‘I have had scores of amateur photographers on the Craigs, including many meenisters, and most of them have taken my likeness and promised to send me a copy, but never a one has reached me.’
      • ‘On, and on, and on the examples go, never a weak moment, never a lost sentence, never a word out of place - and never a one of those words mattering in the least, never a one of them aimed at any purpose but their own light comedy, never a one of them anything but wasted.’
      • ‘I asked her whether she would have a new one or an old one; she said, a second-hand one; I told her we had never a one; but my mother called out and said, we have a second-hand cotton one.’
  • well I never! (or well I never did!)

    • informal Expressing surprise or indignation.

      ‘Well I never—that's not like you!’
      • ‘There was the mother in her alpine attire staring rigidly ahead muttering ‘well I never!’’
      really?, is that so? is that a fact? you're joking! well i never, well i never did, go on, you don't say
      View synonyms

Origin

Old English nǣfre, from ne ‘not’ + ǣfre ‘ever’.

Pronunciation

never

/ˈnɛvə/