at all times; always: an ever-present danger; He is ever ready to find fault.
continuously: 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.

before 1000; Middle English; Old English ǣfre

1. eternally, perpetually, constantly. See always.

1. never.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To ever
World English Dictionary
ever (ˈɛvə)
1.  at any time: have you ever seen it?
2.  by any chance; in any case: how did you ever find out?
3.  at all times; always: ever busy
4.  in any possible way or manner: come as fast as ever you can
5.  informal chiefly (Brit) (intensifier, in the phrases ever so, ever such, and ever such a): ever so good; ever such bad luck; ever such a waste
6.  archaic ever and again, ever and anon now and then; from time to time
7.  slang (US), (Canadian) is he ever! he displays the quality concerned in abundance
[Old English ǣfre, of uncertain origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

O.E. æfre, no cognates in any other Gmc. language; perhaps a contraction of a in feore, lit. "ever in life" (the expression a to fore is common in O.E. writings). First element is almost certainly related to O.E. a "always, ever," from P.Gmc. *aiwo, from PIE *aiw- "vital force, life, long life,
eternity." (see eon).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idiom beginning with ever, also see hardly ever; live happily ever after.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
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.
Related Words
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature