[awl-weyz, -weez]
See more synonyms for always on
  1. every time; on every occasion; without exception: He always works on Saturday.
  2. all the time; continuously; uninterruptedly: There is always some pollution in the air.
  3. forever: Will you always love me?
  4. in any event; at any time; if necessary: She can always move back with her parents.

Origin of always

1200–50; Middle English alwayes, alleweyes, alles weis, genitive (denoting distribution; cf. once) of all wei; alle- lost its genitive ending and was treated as a compounding element under influence of alle wey alway. See all, way1 alway, -s1

Synonyms for always

See more synonyms for on

Synonym study

2, 3. Both always and ever refer to uniform or perpetual continuance. Always often expresses or implies repetition as producing the uniformity or continuance: The sun always rises in the east. Ever implies an unchanging sameness throughout: Natural law is ever to be reckoned with. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for always

Contemporary Examples of always

Historical Examples of always

  • Soon as I looked at her it seemed to me I'd known her always.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • If it does not always tell us what to do, it always cautions us what not to do.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • When he did go it was always understood to be positively for not more than two weeks.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • I've always been taken with the chap; and I'm very glad you read him correctly.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • I am more grateful to you than words can utter—and I will always be glad to do anything for you.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

British Dictionary definitions for always


  1. without exception; on every occasion; every timehe always arrives on time
  2. continually; repeatedly
  3. in any caseyou could always take a day off work
  4. informal for ever; without endour marriage is for always
Also (archaic): alway

Word Origin for always

C13 alles weiss, from Old English ealne weg, literally: all the way; see all, way
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 always

mid-14c., compound of Old English phrase ealne weg "always, quite, perpetually," literally "all the way," with accusative of space or distance, though the oldest recorded usages refer to time. The adverbial genitive -s appeared early 13c. and is now the standard, though the variant alway survived into 1800s. OED speculates allway was originally of space or distance, "but already in the oldest Eng. transferred to an extent of time."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper