every now and then

every

[ev-ree]
adjective
1.
being one of a group or series taken collectively; each: We go there every day.
2.
all possible; the greatest possible degree of: every prospect of success.
Idioms
3.
every bit, in every respect; completely: This is every bit as good as she says it is.
4.
every now and then, on occasion; from time to time: She bakes her own bread every now and then. Also, every once in a while, every so often.
5.
every other, every second; every alternate: milk deliveries every other day.
6.
every which way, in all directions; in disorganized fashion: I brushed against the table, and the cards fell every which way.

Origin:
1125–75; Middle English every, everich, Old English ǣfre ǣlc ever each


1. See each.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To every now and then
Collins
World English Dictionary
every (ˈɛvrɪ)
 
determiner
1.  each one (of the class specified), without exception: every child knows it
2.  (not used with a negative) the greatest or best possible: every hope of success
3.  each: used before a noun phrase to indicate the recurrent, intermittent, or serial nature of a thing: every third day; every now and then; every so often
4.  (used in comparisons with as) every bit quite; just; equally: every bit as funny as the other show
5.  every other each alternate; every second: every other day
6.  every which way
 a.  in all directions; everywhere: I looked every which way for you
 b.  (US), (Canadian) from all sides: stones coming at me every which way
 
[C15 everich, from Old English ǣfre ǣlc, from ǣfreever + ǣlceach]

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
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

every
O.E. æfre ælc "each of a group," lit. "ever each" (Chaucer's everich) with ever added for emphasis, as the word is still felt to need emphasis (Mod.Eng. every last ..., every single ..., etc.). Everybody is from c.1530, everyone is in M.E., everything is late 14c., everywhere is O.E. æfre
gehwær. The word everywhen is attested from 1843, but never caught on; neither did everyhow (1837). Everyman was the name of the leading character in a 15c. morality play. Slang phrase every Tom, Dick, and Harry dates from at least 1734, from common English given names.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

every now and then

Also, every now and again; ; every so often. Occasionally, from time to time; also, periodically. For example, Every now and then I long for a piece of chocolate, or We take long walks every now and again, or Every once in a while he'll call, or Every so often she washes the car. The first term dates from the first half of the 1700s, the last from the mid-1900s. Also see from time to time; once in a while.

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