- 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.
Origin of every
- each one (of the class specified), without exceptionevery child knows it
- (not used with a negative) the greatest or best possibleevery hope of success
- each: used before a noun phrase to indicate the recurrent, intermittent, or serial nature of a thingevery third day; every now and then; every so often
- every bit (used in comparisons with as) quite; just; equallyevery bit as funny as the other show
- every other each alternate; every secondevery other day
- every which way
- in all directions; everywhereI looked every which way for you
- US and Canadianfrom all sidesstones coming at me every which way
Word Origin and History for every so often
early 13c., contraction of Old English æfre ælc "each of a group," literally "ever each" (Chaucer's everich), from each with ever added for emphasis, as the word is still felt to need emphasis (e.g. Modern English every last ..., every single ..., etc.).
Cf. everybody, everything, etc. The word everywhen is attested from 1843 but never caught on; neither did everyhow (1837). Slang phrase every Tom, Dick, and Harry dates from at least 1734, from common English given names.
Idioms and Phrases with every so often
every so often
see every now and then.
In addition to the idioms beginning with every
- every bit
- every cloud has a silver lining
- every dog has its day
- every inch
- every last one
- every little bit helps
- every man for himself
- every man has his price
- every minute counts
- every nook and cranny
- every now and then
- every other
- every single one
- every so often
- every time one turns around
- every Tom, Dick, and Harry
- every which way