|—adv, —sentence substitute|
|1.||at no time; not ever|
|2.||certainly not; by no means; in no case|
|3.||Also: well I never! surely not!|
|usage In informal speech and writing, never can be used instead of not with the simple past tenses of certain verbs for emphasis (I never said that; I never realized how clever he was), but this usage should be avoided in serious writing|
In addition to the idioms beginning with never, also see better late than never; it never rains but it pours; lightning never strikes twice; now or never; watched pot never boils; wonders will never cease; you never can tell.