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[eech] /itʃ/
every one of two or more considered individually or one by one:
each stone in a building; a hallway with a door at each end.
every one individually; each one:
Each had a different solution to the problem.
to, from, or for each; apiece:
They cost a dollar each.
Origin of each
before 900; Middle English eche, Old English ælc, equivalent to ā ever (see ay1) + (ge)līc alike; cognate with Old High German ēo-gilīh, Old Frisian ellīk, Dutch, Low German elk
Synonym Study
1. Each, every are alike in having a distributive meaning. Of two or more members composing an aggregate, each directs attention to the separate members in turn: Each child (of those considered and enumerated) received a large apple. Every emphasizes inclusiveness or universality: Every child (of all in existence) likes to play.
Usage note
The adjective each is always followed by a singular noun: each person; each book. When the adjective follows a plural subject, the verb agrees with the subject: They each dress in different styles. The houses each have central heating. When the pronoun each comes immediately before the verb, it always takes a singular verb: Each comes (not come) from a different country. When the pronoun is followed by an of phrase containing a plural noun or pronoun, there is a tendency for the verb to be plural: Each of the candidates has (or have) spoken on the issue. Some usage guides maintain that only the singular verb is correct, but plural verbs occur frequently even in edited writing.
It is also sometimes said that the pronoun each must always be referred to by a singular pronoun, but again actual usage does not regularly observe this stricture: Each member of our garden club had their own special interests. In the most formal speech and writing, singular verbs and pronouns occur more frequently than plural: Each member … had his own special interests. The use of plural forms, especially plural pronouns, has been increasing in the United States, partially because of the desire to avoid using he or his to refer to a female.
Anyone, anybody, everyone, everybody, no one, someone, and somebody follow the same general patterns of pronoun agreement as each. See also they. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for each
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A neutral was this good woman, and a well-wisher to each faction.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • each instinctively touched the other's arm, as a signal for silence.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • The boys possessed two uncles, one on each side of the house.

    The Armourer's Prentices Charlotte M. Yonge
  • Throughout the dinner their entire absorption in each other was all but unbroken.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • Dennet was astir early to see them off, and she had a little gift for each.

    The Armourer's Prentices Charlotte M. Yonge
British Dictionary definitions for each


  1. every (one) of two or more considered individually: each day, each person
  2. (as pronoun): each gave according to his ability
for, to, or from each one; apiece: four apples each
Usage note
Each is a singular pronoun and should be used with a singular form of a verb: each of the candidates was (not were) interviewed separately
Word Origin
Old English ǣlc; related to Old High German ēogilīh, Old Frisian ellik, Dutch elk
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for each
adj., pron.

Old English ælc "any, all, every, each (one), short for a-gelic "ever alike," from a "ever" (see aye (2)) + gelic "alike" (see like (adj.)).

From a common West Germanic expression *aiwo galika (cf. Dutch elk, Old Frisian ellik, Old High German iogilih, German jeglich "each, every"). Originally used as we now use every (which is a compound of each) or all; modern use is by influence of Latin quisque. Modern spelling appeared late 1500s. Also cf. ilk, which.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for each


Related Terms

per each

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with each
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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