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  1. at all times; always: an ever-present danger; He is ever ready to find fault.
  2. continuously: ever since then.
  3. at any time: Have you ever seen anything like it?
  4. in any possible case; by any chance; at all (often used to intensify or emphasize a phrase or an emotional reaction as surprise or impatience): How did you ever manage to do it? If the band ever plays again, we will dance.
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  1. South Midland and Southern U.S. every: She rises early ever morning.
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  1. ever and again, now and then; from time to time.Also Literary, ever and anon.
  2. ever so, to a great extent or degree; exceedingly: They were ever so kind to me.
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Origin of ever

before 1000; Middle English; Old English ǣfre


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1. eternally, perpetually, constantly. See always.


1. never.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for ever and again


  1. at any timehave you ever seen it?
  2. by any chance; in any casehow did you ever find out?
  3. at all times; alwaysever busy
  4. in any possible way or mannercome as fast as ever you can
  5. informal, mainly British (intensifier, in the phrases ever so, ever such, and ever such a)ever so good; ever such bad luck; ever such a waste
  6. ever and again or ever and anon archaic now and then; from time to time
  7. is he ever! US and Canadian slang he displays the quality concerned in abundance
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See also forever

Word Origin

Old English ǣfre, of uncertain origin
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

Word Origin and History for ever and again



Old English æfre "ever, at any time, always;" no cognates in any other Germanic language; perhaps a contraction of a in feore, literally "ever in life" (the expression a to fore is common in Old English writings).

First element is almost certainly related to Old English a "always, ever," from Proto-Germanic *aiwo, from PIE *aiw- "vital force, life, long life, eternity." (see eon). Liberman suggests second element is comparative adjectival suffix -re.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with ever and again

ever and again

Now and then, occasionally. For example, We visit her ever and again. This phrase has largely replaced the earlier ever and anon, dating from the late 1500s, but is less common than every now and then. [Late 1800s]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.