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[ev-er] /ˈɛv ər/
at all times; always:
an ever-present danger; He is ever ready to find fault.
ever since then.
at any time:
Have you ever seen anything like it?
in any possible case; by any chance; at all (often used to intensify or emphasize a phrase or an emotional reaction as surprise or impatience):
How did you ever manage to do it? If the band ever plays again, we will dance.
South Midland and Southern U.S. every:
She rises early ever morning.
ever and again, now and then; from time to time.
Also, Literary, ever and anon.
ever so, to a great extent or degree; exceedingly:
They were ever so kind to me.
Origin of ever
before 1000; Middle English; Old English ǣfre
1. eternally, perpetually, constantly. See always.
1. never. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ever
  • The historical debate is as hot, and unsettled, as ever.
  • The rapidly spreading disease affects more people than ever before.
  • Hardly anybody involved in this movie had ever made one before, including me.
  • In the past several years, hoodies have become much more of an outlet for creative expression than ever before.
  • For all the concern expressed about the imminent demise of the college library, librarians are needed more than ever.
  • Formation of an ocean is a rare event, one few scientists have ever witnessed.
  • Rouse says with this pretty pattern to look at her second story view is better than ever.
  • We traveled further and controlled more land in a few weeks than what has ever been achieved in military history.
  • Don't even try unless you are adding a lot more value than the average daily newspaper ever did.
  • If you ever wanted to grow up to be a dinosaur hunter, now is the time to do it.
British Dictionary definitions for ever


at any time: have you ever seen it?
by any chance; in any case: how did you ever find out?
at all times; always: ever busy
in any possible way or manner: come as fast as ever you can
(informal, mainly Brit) (intensifier, in the phrases ever so, ever such, and ever such a): ever so good, ever such bad luck, ever such a waste
(archaic) ever and again, ever and anon, now and then; from time to time
(US & Canadian, slang) is he ever!, he displays the quality concerned in abundance
See also forever
Word Origin
Old English ǣfre, of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ever

Old English æfre "ever, at any time, always;" no cognates in any other Germanic language; perhaps a contraction of a in feore, literally "ever in life" (the expression a to fore is common in Old English writings).

First element is almost certainly related to Old English a "always, ever," from Proto-Germanic *aiwo, from PIE *aiw- "vital force, life, long life, eternity." (see eon). Liberman suggests second element is comparative adjectival suffix -re.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for ever



Really; truly; certainly •Used postpositively for emphasis: Boy, has it ever!/ Clinton's generation has already had its chance to make its tastes the country's tastes. Has it ever/ Did we win? Did we ever!

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with ever


In addition to the idiom beginning with
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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