Definition of never in English:



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

    ‘they had never been camping in their lives’
    ‘I will never ever forget it’
    • ‘He had never been late for training and if he was ever running late he would ring to let us know.’
    • ‘It was a decade of my life that I will always hold dear to my heart and a time that will never be forgotten.’
    • ‘According to them we never think about money and don't even know what an overdraft is.’
    • ‘William had been on their minds ever since he left but he was never a topic between them.’
    • ‘There was never a shortage in the past and it's too early to blame the lack of kids out playing.’
    • ‘She said she has never heard of a single errant cyclist being brought to book in Kingston.’
    • ‘I've taken a lot of trips but never something that's taken so much to get to one place.’
    • ‘Nothing like this has ever happened in the area before and probably never will again.’
    • ‘Luke lives with his parents and grandparents on a farm that has never been painted.’
    • ‘By the time four days had elapsed I just thought that was it and I would never see it again.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘My visits to the cinema never stretch beyond the odd foray to the Glasgow film theatre.’
    • ‘We should not be so foolish as to believe these things will never return in the future.’
    • ‘Flora also talks of her hopes for the future and how she feels about the father she has never met.’
    • ‘He had never told his parents and only many years later told relatives what happened.’
    • ‘All very spooky and enough to make you never want to go near some parts of the Park ever again.’
    • ‘He said he'd never had any experience with this and no one had ever raised this before.’
    • ‘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.’
    at no time, not at any time, not ever, not once, on no occasion
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  • 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.’
    • ‘He certainly would never have got permission for a hotel, or even a six bedroom house.’
    • ‘His putt never troubles the hole and it slips a few feet past for another difficult putt.’
    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!’


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