every other


being one of a group or series taken collectively; each: We go there every day.
all possible; the greatest possible degree of: every prospect of success.
every bit, in every respect; completely: This is every bit as good as she says it is.
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.
every other, every second; every alternate: milk deliveries every other day.
every which way, in all directions; in disorganized fashion: I brushed against the table, and the cards fell every which way.

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

1. See each.
Dictionary.com Unabridged


additional or further: he and one other person.
different or distinct from the one mentioned or implied: in some other city; Some other design may be better.
different in nature or kind: I would not have him other than he is.
being the remaining one of two or more: the other hand.
(used with plural nouns) being the remaining ones of a number: the other men; some other countries.
former; earlier: sailing ships of other days.
not long past: the other night.
the other one: Each praises the other.
Usually, others. other persons or things: others in the medical profession.
some person or thing else: Surely some friend or other will help me.
otherwise; differently (usually followed by than ): We can't collect the rent other than by suing the tenant.
every other, every alternate: a meeting every other week.

before 900; Middle English; Old English ōther (pronoun, adj., and noun); cognate with German ander, Gothic anthar; akin to Sanskrit antara-

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World English Dictionary
every (ˈɛvrɪ)
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]

other (ˈʌðə)
1.  a.  (when used before a singular noun, usually preceded by the) the remaining (one or ones in a group of which one or some have been specified): I'll read the other sections of the paper later
 b.  the other (as pronoun; functioning as sing): one walks while the other rides
2.  (a) different (one or ones from that or those already specified or understood): he found some other house; no other man but you; other days were happier
3.  additional; further: there are no other possibilities
4.  (preceded by every) alternate; two: it buzzes every other minute
5.  other than
 a.  apart from; besides: a lady other than his wife
 b.  Archaic form: other from different from: he couldn't be other than what he is
6.  archaic no other nothing else: I can do no other
7.  (preceded by a phrase or word with some) or other used to add vagueness to the preceding pronoun, noun, noun phrase, or adverb: some dog or other bit him; he's somewhere or other
8.  other things being equal conditions being the same or unchanged
9.  the other day a few days ago
10.  the other thing an unexpressed alternative
11.  another: show me one other
12.  (plural) additional or further ones: the police have found two and are looking for others
13.  (plural) other people or things
14.  the others the remaining ones (of a group): take these and leave the others
15.  (plural) each other See also one another different ones (from those specified or understood): they'd rather have others, not these
16.  (usually used with a negative and foll by than) otherwise; differently: they couldn't behave other than they do

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

O.E. oþer "the second, one of the two, other," from P.Gmc. *antharaz (cf. O.S. athar, O.N. annarr, Ger. ander, Goth. anþar "other"), from PIE *an-tero-, variant of *al-tero- "the other of two" (cf. Lith. antras, Skt. antarah "other, foreign," L. alter), from base *al- "beyond" + adj. comp.
suffix *-tero-. Sense of "second" was detached from this word in Eng. (which uses second, from L.) and Ger. (zweiter, from zwei "two") to avoid ambiguity. In Scand., however, the second floor is still the "other" floor (cf. Swed. andra, Dan. anden). Phrase other world "world of idealism or fantasy, afterlife, spirit-land" is c.1200; hence otherworldliness (c.1834). The other woman "a woman with whom a man begins a love affair while he is already committed" is from 1855. The other day originally (1154) was "the next day;" later (c.1300) "yesterday;" and now, loosely, "a day or two ago" (1421). Phrase other half in reference to either the poor or the rich, is recorded from 1607.
"La moitié du monde ne sçayt comment l'aultre vit." [Rabelais, "Pantagruel," 1532]

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
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

every other

Every second one in a series, as in I'm supposed to take this pill every other day. [c. 1400]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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