forever and a day


[fawr-ev-er, fer-]
without ever ending; eternally: to last forever.
continually; incessantly; always: He's forever complaining.
an endless or seemingly endless period of time: It took them forever to make up their minds.
forever and a day, eternally; always: They pledged to love each other forever and a day.

1660–70; orig. phrase for ever Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
forever (fɔːˈrɛvə, fə-)
1.  Also: for ever without end; everlastingly; eternally
2.  at all times; incessantly
3.  informal for a very long time: he went on speaking forever
4.  informal (as object) a very long time: it took him forever to reply
5.  …forever! an exclamation expressing support or loyalty: Scotland forever!
usage  Forever and for ever can both be used to say that something is without end. For all other meanings, forever is the preferred form

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

late 14c., for ever; from for + ever. One word from late 17c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

forever and a day

  1. For a very long time, as in He's been working on that book forever and a day. This hyperbolic expression probably originated as a corruption of the now obsolete for ever and ay. Shakespeare used it in The Taming of the Shrew (4:4): "Farewell for ever and a day." Today it is mainly a substitute for "very long time." [c. 1600]

  2. Incessantly, ceaselessly, as in Will this racket never end? It's been going on forever and a day. [Colloquial; first half of 1900s]

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