(sometimes initial capital letter) the evening or the day before a holiday, church festival, or any date or event: Christmas Eve; the eve of an execution.
the period preceding or leading up to any event, crisis, etc.: on the eve of the American Revolution.
the evening.

Origin of eve

1200–50; Middle English; variant of even2




name of the first woman: wife of Adam and progenitor of the human race. Gen. 3:20.
a female given name: from a Hebrew word meaning “life.”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for eve

Contemporary Examples of eve

Historical Examples of eve

  • We never see Him bring the bud to the eve of blossoming just to wither it.

  • He may perhaps be on the eve of starting away by some of the vessels in the port.

    Life in London

    Edwin Hodder

  • Such ideas as Paradise, Adam and Eve, and angels, are getting obsolete.

  • Young women on the eve of a vacation were not usually so reasonable.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • At last, on the eve of the happy day, everything was in readiness.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

British Dictionary definitions for eve



  1. the evening or day before some special event or festival
  2. (capital when part of a name)New Year's Eve
the period immediately before an eventon the eve of civil war
an archaic word for evening

Word Origin for eve

C13: variant of even ²



Old Testament the first woman; mother of the human race, fashioned by God from the rib of Adam (Genesis 2:18-25)
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 eve

"evening," Old English æfen, with pre-1200 loss of terminal -n (which was mistaken for an inflexion), from Proto-Germanic *æbando- (cf. Old Saxon aband, Old Frisian ewnd, Dutch avond, Old High German aband, German Abend, Old Norse aptann, Danish aften), of uncertain origin. Now superseded in its original sense by evening. Meaning "day before a saint's day or festival" is from late 13c.


fem. proper name, from Biblical first woman, Late Latin, from Hebrew Hawwah, literally "a living being," from base hawa "he lived" (cf. Arabic hayya, Aramaic hayyin).

Like most of the explanations of names in Genesis, this is probably based on folk etymology or an imaginative playing with sound. ... In the Hebrew here, the phonetic similarity is between hawah, "Eve," and the verbal root hayah, "to live." It has been proposed that Eve's name conceals very different origins, for it sounds suspiciously like the Aramaic word for "serpent." [Robert Alter, "The Five Books of Moses," 2004, commentary on Gen. iii:20]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for eve


In the Book of Genesis, the first woman. (See Adam and Eve and Creation.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with eve


see on the eve of.

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