Definition of always in US English:


(also alway)


  • 1At all times; on all occasions.

    ‘the sun always rises in the east’
    • ‘They fly in low, up to two dozen pairs at a time, always along the edge closest to the sun and always facing into the wind.’
    • ‘It's as if the contestants really are in an enchanted land, one where the sun always shines.’
    • ‘And the staff are always at the end of a telephone to provide additional support.’
    • ‘In her memory, the sun was always shining, the air warm, though it was really late fall.’
    • ‘Life is blissful where the sun always shines and the money keeps rolling in.’
    • ‘On these occasions he always professed his innocence of the murder, although he knew who did it.’
    • ‘Over the years it seemed to become a household name and the event is always an occasion to look forward to.’
    • ‘Because of the astronomical position of Mercury, it is always close to the Sun.’
    • ‘Traffic problems should not be allowed spoil what is always a truly great occasion.’
    • ‘Occupying powers always resort to such methods to subdue resistance to their rule.’
    • ‘This is always a lovely community occasion and a large attendance is anticipated.’
    • ‘Remember those days and evenings when the sun always shone and cricket was the only game in town?’
    • ‘This annual dinner for the committee and their friends is always an enjoyable occasion.’
    • ‘We, as a nation, are always complaining of staff shortages in these establishments.’
    • ‘War should in any case always be a last resort in settling an international conflict.’
    • ‘In the run up to special occasions, I always buy a large Stilton and stand it on a dish in the fridge.’
    • ‘It was a pretty close vote but it shows that quality will always rise to the top.’
    • ‘The sun always shines on this side of the hills but the beech trees give lots of shade.’
    • ‘For any Christian the resort to arms must always be the very last resort.’
    • ‘It is always an honour to rise at the start of a parliamentary session and make a speech.’
    every time, each time, at all times, all the time, on every occasion, on all occasions, consistently, invariably, without fail, without exception, regularly, repeatedly, habitually, unfailingly, infallibly, inevitably
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    1. 1.1 Throughout a long period of the past.
      ‘she had always been an obstinate sort’
      • ‘We had a set of best clothes for Sundays and special occasions and always wore a hat to church.’
      • ‘Pannal to their credit maintained a positive attitude throughout and were always on the lookout for goals.’
      • ‘At one of my past jobs, someone always left a copy of the newspaper in the toilets.’
      • ‘The owners were torn about the decision and regular staff meetings always produced discussion.’
      • ‘Mr Smith said his curse followed gipsy tradition and had always worked in the past.’
      • ‘Health-conscious Julie Doyle always avoided the sun because of her fair skin.’
      • ‘If you keep doing what you have always done in the past you will keep getting the exact same results.’
      • ‘Their experimentation in the past always appeared to work by accident rather than by design.’
      • ‘Throughout this period, there had always been a minority of rebels who challenged the rule of the clock.’
      • ‘In the past, I've always known every summer what I'm going to be doing the following season.’
      • ‘We want to break the monotony we have had in the past of always waiting for the main show in June.’
      • ‘Being with my patient over an 18 month period was not always easy, or gratifying.’
      • ‘They had always had some past cricketer who would tour and be the manager.’
      • ‘He became well known for his natty dress sense and the rose he always wore in his buttonhole.’
      • ‘In the past, security was always closely linked to the issue of social security.’
      • ‘Buried inside the compliment is the rejoinder that this wasn't always the case in the past.’
      • ‘Martin has a year to run on his contract and in the past he has always shown a willingness to honour that.’
      • ‘It was not always so and in past times it was a big event on St. Stephen's Day every year.’
      • ‘Ms Benson said that their phone lines were always quiet in the period coming up to Christmas.’
      • ‘When you look at past winners they have always been from Oxford and Cambridge so to be in that league is fantastic.’
    2. 1.2 For all future time; forever.
      ‘she will always be missed’
      • ‘Paolozzi may find his inspiration in the past but the future is what will always truly concern him.’
      • ‘There will always be something missing from a game played on this surface.’
      • ‘He said that, through them, he has learned he will always miss a cigarette.’
      • ‘Because no matter how tomorrow may look, the future will always work itself out.’
      • ‘There is never any guarantee that such a situation will always prevail in the future.’
      • ‘It is always going to be a future benefit and always, to some extent, a contingent benefit.’
      • ‘He was a humble, kind and giving man who will be missed and always remembered by all who knew him.’
      • ‘We should always act in such a way to make certain there will always be a human future.’
      • ‘They were members of the old stock of the Parish and she will be always missed.’
      • ‘There will always be staff sickness, but the high costs show how important it is to get the action plan in place.’
      • ‘There may be more television work in the future, but there will always be football.’
      • ‘He said he hoped this gave them closure but they would always have one person missing.’
      • ‘But his weakness as a human being will always prevent him from rising to the pinnacle of greatness.’
      • ‘Similarly, you get the feeling that speech recognition is the technology of the future and always will be.’
      • ‘My grandmother was one of the most influential people in my life and I will always miss her.’
      • ‘Of a very kind and friendly nature, he will be very sadly missed, and always remembered.’
      • ‘It will never be over in my heart though because she will always be there, forever and ever.’
      • ‘This thing can never be forsaken; keep this always and forever in your mind.’
      • ‘Yet for one man, and one team, the tournament marked a new high, a memory on which the sun will always shine.’
      • ‘We will always miss her tremendous dedication and sincerity, and the friendliness of her presence.’
      forever, permanently, for always, for good, for good and all, perpetually, ever, evermore, for evermore, for ever and ever, for all time, for all future time, until the end of time, eternally, for eternity, in perpetuity, everlastingly, endlessly
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    3. 1.3 Repeatedly and annoyingly.
      ‘she is always making derogatory remarks’
      • ‘Then there was the obligatory annoying kid that you always get in these movies.’
      • ‘The defeat he always insisted was inevitable has come and gone and cost Celtic nothing.’
      • ‘I suppose some would call it a woman's book which always sounds a bit derogatory to me.’
      • ‘Did you ever notice that they always seem to want to have the last word on an argument?’
      • ‘It always amazes me when people seem to take forever to get things like domain names, or company formations.’
      • ‘I loved Halloween but the costume selection part of it was always the most annoying.’
      • ‘Time is always available for politicians to endlessly repeat their deceptive claims, however.’
      • ‘There's something that always seems to be missed when talking about re-design.’
      • ‘Most probably, but consistency has always been our bugbear so we must wait and see.’
      • ‘They are always referring to my past, but honestly I never think about that night in Munich any more.’
      • ‘His greatest problem has always been that they inevitably prove to be incompatible.’
      • ‘You simply cannot move the country forward if you are always focused on the past.’
      • ‘While this is all good and well there is something that we always miss out on.’
      • ‘No matter what time of the day or night you go through, everyone's always honking their horn.’
      • ‘It saddens me that no matter how much he does that is good and positive, his past is always thrown in his face.’
      • ‘In the good times the chief executive's pay always seems to rise at a faster rate than earnings.’
      • ‘Liam had always been the annoying kid next door who my mother constantly nagged me to be nice to.’
      • ‘The rations handed out to the poor are always missing one or two items.’
      • ‘As usual a request would crop up for a song from Johnny Kelly and always there had to be a repeat.’
      • ‘Before there was always something missing that prevented the analogy from being complete.’
      continually, continuously, constantly, forever, repeatedly, perpetually, incessantly, ceaselessly, unceasingly, endlessly, interminably, eternally, the entire time, permanently
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  • 2As a last resort; failing all else.

    ‘if the marriage doesn't work out, we can always get divorced’
    • ‘Failing that, they can always use some insulating tape and chewing gum to hold the spaghetti together.’
    • ‘Failing this there is always the marvellous views of the French Alps to look forward to.’
    • ‘As a last resort you could always throw out the computer, but could you survive without eBay?’
    • ‘Failing that, inside the house there is always at least one space we turn to by way of retreat.’
    • ‘I think separation seems a bit more straightforward than a divorce and we can always get one at a later stage.’
    • ‘Whatever the future holds, Strasser will always have his high-profile past to relish.’
    • ‘If things don't work out, you can always go to law school.’
    as a last resort, whatever the circumstances, no matter what, in any event, in any case, come what may
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Middle English: genitive case of all way, the inflection probably giving the sense ‘at every time’ as opposed to ‘at one uninterrupted time’: the difference between the two is no longer distinct.