Definition of ever in English:



  • 1[usually with negative or in questions] At any time.

    ‘nothing ever seemed to ruffle her’
    ‘don't you ever regret giving up all that money?’
    • ‘He really tries to push the Texan thing, but he'll never ever be a real Texan!’
    • ‘Why isn't the emphasis on the fact that journalists seldom, if ever, kick a man when he's up?’
    • ‘Well, that brings up the possibility of a whole range of new abuses no-one had ever thought of.’
    • ‘He never ever expected it could be his heart though he has not been well since Vicky's death but it was put down to stress.’
    • ‘How many of us have ever met a person who combines the range of attributes that are said to be essential?’
    • ‘It is doubtful there could ever be a comparable level of certainty with dementia patients.’
    • ‘It's easier said than done but you will never ever have a better chance of doing it than right now.’
    • ‘Have you ever gone to the practice ground or driving range and just hit wedges?’
    • ‘Remember the names of those politicians and never ever trust anything that they ever say again!’
    • ‘Of course our generation had complete respect for our elders and never ever gave cheek to them or annoyed them.’
    • ‘And you realize that no physical pain could ever compare to what you feel inside.’
    • ‘The truth, however, is that I never ever regret my regular trips to the gym.’
    • ‘But no British leader, given the media ranged against him, could ever give it up.’
    • ‘I know from personal experience that you never ever really get over this awful loss in your family.’
    • ‘It's such a simple and good idea that the likelihood of it ever being adopted ranges between slim and none.’
    • ‘He was then replaced by the chief inspector, who was now my own chief inspector, but he never ever came to see me.’
    • ‘No commentator has ever sounded foolish by emphasising the obstacles to peace.’
    • ‘A lot was made of the fact that I am so committed to Scotland, but I never ever thought any other way.’
    • ‘Did anyone ever check that a range of test pressures corresponded with suitability for particular usages?’
    • ‘They were the cutest couple at our school and no one could ever compare to either of them.’
    at any time, at any point, on any occasion, under any circumstances, on any account
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    1. 1.1Used in comparisons for emphasis.
      ‘they felt better than ever before’
      ‘our biggest ever range’
      • ‘This leaves a larger population of retired people compared to those still in work than ever before.’
      • ‘The explanation was that the range was under more pressure than ever because of wildfires and drought.’
      • ‘The soundtrack has been expanded, with unexpected classics, and the range of vehicles is wider than ever.’
      • ‘In its last years as Ottoman capital, Constantinople, more than ever, became a world city.’
      • ‘This is the third year of the festive event and is set to be the best ever with a whole range of surprises in store for visitors.’
      • ‘It's not a top or a dress but the most gorgeous underwear I've ever seen and it's in my price range.’
      • ‘Women are buying more cars than ever and represent an increasingly important group of customers.’
      • ‘He has boosted his vocal power, widened his range and sounds more impressive than ever.’
      • ‘Now he's getting compared to Pele and being called our greatest ever footballer.’
      • ‘This being the case, the active role of voters grows more important than ever.’
      • ‘It all ran off in the biggest creek run ever, absolutely nothing grew from that rain.’
      • ‘I'll have you know my profession takes a lot more talent then yours ever did!’
      • ‘He had the most beautiful eyelashes I have ever seen and I grew to love him very much.’
      • ‘Tomatoes would have to be one of the easiest, most versatile fruits you will ever grow.’
      • ‘The richest range of blue I ever saw came onboard flights throughout Pacific islands.’
  • 2At all times; always.

    ‘ever the man of action, he was impatient with intellectuals’
    ‘it remains as popular as ever’
    ‘they lived happily ever after’
    [in combination] ‘he toyed with his ever-present cigar’
    • ‘My guess is that he sold the film rights to his life, faked his own death and lived happily ever after.’
    • ‘Instead we have to appreciate that social order is constantly fluid, ever in flux.’
    • ‘Will it end happily ever after, or does that just happen in fairy stories?’
    • ‘Now the peace process is no more, it makes no sense to regard it as a mantra, a modern spell to make everyone live happily ever after.’
    • ‘It did average business and I recovered some money so that I could live happily ever after.’
    • ‘Then the war started, they all went home, and they lived happily ever after.’
    • ‘Originality, ever prized, is increasingly scarce, but we can offer you these.’
    • ‘Nick, as ever, looks relatively sane by comparison, but then most people would really.’
    • ‘Personally, I'm hoping Gunther and Rachel get married and live happily ever after.’
    • ‘There will be no more war or terrorism, and everyone will live happily ever after.’
    • ‘Dylan drops her home then writes a story about how much he hates fairy tales and that no one lives happily ever after.’
    • ‘The problem that many people have with this story is that not everybody lives happily ever after.’
    • ‘And they never tell you when that happens it might not end happily ever after.’
    • ‘All too many do not live happily ever after and opt for being single again.’
    • ‘In an ideal world, marriage vows are sacred and everyone lives happily ever after.’
    • ‘As they kiss, he turns into a handsome prince and they all live happily ever after.’
    • ‘In this case there was a happy ending and everybody did live happily ever after.’
    • ‘I heard a tale of true romance, crusty old prehistoric creatures and happily ever after.’
    • ‘Perhaps they could exchange wives and then everyone would live happily ever after!’
    • ‘I was the romantic female character that would fall in love and live happily ever after.’
    • ‘The story is supposed to be what happens after happily ever after and that is the main problem with the film.’
    • ‘Does the pair overcome the hurdles in their path and live happily ever after?’
    continually, constantly, always, at all times, endlessly, perpetually, incessantly, unceasingly, unremittingly, repeatedly, recurrently
    always, forever, at all times, eternally, until the end of time
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  • 3[with comparative] Increasingly; constantly.

    ‘having to borrow ever larger sums’
    • ‘Now the day lasts and lasts, the cats sit outside, their eyes growing larger and ever larger as the light fades.’
    • ‘This same organisation does not hide its desire to grow ever bigger.’
    • ‘There are some more new links in the ever growing links list to the left, do check them out, they nearly all swear less than me.’
    • ‘Today he has a small, but ever growing, loyal fan base and a vehicle to share those tunes with the world.’
    • ‘As the backlog of matches grew ever larger, the workload for the potential champion looked frightening.’
    • ‘The segment of my horizon it illumines grows shorter and ever shorter, and the night longer and longer.’
    • ‘The truth is that their are promising the earth without having the faintest idea of how to pay for their ever growing wishlist.’
    • ‘They want enough money to feed their ever growing families and enough to put a roof over their head.’
    • ‘The small but ever growing town of Goreme is one of the few places in the area where the rock-cut houses are still in use.’
    • ‘This is certainly an achievement: we had become accustomed to waiting lists growing ever longer.’
    • ‘Nursing and support staff do a wonderful job but are constantly under pressure from ever dwindling resources.’
    • ‘Why do I not keep up with the ever growing pile of post when it comes in?’
    • ‘Mr Willis may not see the need to do anything more about the hold which drugs are taking on an ever growing number of children.’
    • ‘The collective refuse to be labelled as their music selection is ever changing and constantly modified.’
    • ‘Now, our global commitments grow ever wider, as our armed forces contract.’
    • ‘Sunday lunch in Killester was interrupted by the sound of music growing ever louder.’
    • ‘Rowley's injury is the last thing Leigh needed as the casualty list at Hilton Park grows ever longer.’
    • ‘The conversion of the Parliament from an outsider to an insider position has drawn to it an ever wider range of interests.’
    • ‘Papers get bigger by the year, offering an ever wider range of material.’
    • ‘Insurance increased during the 20th cent. to meet an ever widening range of risk.’
    continually, constantly, perpetually, perennially, always, forever, invariably, eternally, persistently
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  • 4Used for emphasis in questions and other remarks, expressing astonishment or outrage.

    ‘who ever heard of a grown man being frightened of the dark?’
    ‘don't you ever forget it!’
    • ‘Did you ever consider the fact that people might like to get on the train behind you?’
    • ‘We hooked up with the wedding party towards the inebriate end of the evening - my word, did we ever.’
    • ‘Did they ever actually tell you that there were no jobs they had for you?’
    • ‘The problem is at which point did you ever consider the rating of the readers about this newspaper?’
    • ‘How did we ever manage without this mass collective memory of objects?’
    • ‘He said this is the most ridiculous question he has ever heard and then hung up on me.’
    • ‘How in the name of whichever gods did they ever pass their driving tests?’
    • ‘How the hell did we ever manage to get through an election night before the internet?’
    at all, in any way, on earth
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  • ever and anon

    • archaic Occasionally.

      ‘ever and anon the stillness is rent by the scream of a gibbon’
      • ‘The government continues ever and anon, as slow as snail.’
      • ‘Meantime, Fedellah was calmly eyeing the right whale's head, and ever and anon glancing from the deep wrinkles there to the lines in his own hand.’
      sometimes, from time to time, at times, every so often, on occasion, on occasions, on the odd occasion, periodically, at intervals, irregularly, sporadically, spasmodically, infrequently, intermittently, on and off, off and on
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  • ever since

    • Throughout the period since.

      ‘she had lived alone ever since her husband died’
      • ‘He arrived in Scotland as a refugee and has lived in the Glasgow area ever since.’
      • ‘The pair met during World War Two at an East London youth club and have been together ever since.’
      • ‘Thanks to the largesse of the airline caterers, they have lived like kings ever since.’
      • ‘We have been campaigning for the bus lanes' removal ever since it was put there.’
      • ‘She has been there ever since and insists she will remain until her daughter is freed.’
      • ‘The couple have travelled the world together ever since and began living together a year ago.’
      • ‘He introduced himself to me by the punch table, and we have remained friends ever since.’
      • ‘Following its closure as a bank several years ago it has remained empty ever since.’
      • ‘We met last summer in a city bar and had remained in sporadic contact ever since.’
      • ‘We peeled her up out of the mud, and she slunk off to the shed and hid under a bucket, and has lived there ever since.’
  • ever so

    • Very.

      ‘I am ever so grateful’
      • ‘Across a field is the Minster, little but ever so pretty and on everybody's list of favourite churches.’
      • ‘Below me is a sea of clouds, as far as I can see, nothing but a gray lumpy mattress of thick vapor, moving ever so slowly.’
      • ‘If I felt any kind of affection for them whatsoever, I'd be ever so much more impressed with it all.’
      • ‘I took the form back to the dole office and enquired, ever so politely, why they had filled it in incorrectly.’
      • ‘Through the years he has worked diligently on all aspects of his game and changed his emphasis ever so slightly.’
      • ‘I feel ever so slightly guilty lighting up when someone's next to me eating.’
      • ‘He said he thought it was brighter than normal, when I revealed my ever so subtle April Fool's trick!’
      • ‘The ride back was incredibly easy, especially as it was ever so slightly uphill.’
      • ‘Well, they taste ever so much better than the ones for sale in supermarkets.’
      • ‘I would be ever so chuffed if everyone reading this just leaves a comment.’
  • ever such

    • informal Very much.

      ‘ever such a pretty little cat’
  • for ever

  • yours ever

    • A formula used to end an informal letter, before the signature.

      • ‘With love to you all, ever yours sincerely,…’
      • ‘I remain as ever yours, hoping to be with you soon.’


Old English ǣfre, of unknown origin.