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Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Idioms about even

    break even, to have one's profits equal one's losses; neither gain nor lose: The company barely broke even last year.
    get even, to be revenged; retaliate: He vowed to get even for the insult.

Origin of even

First recorded before 900; Middle English adjective even, efn(e), emne, Old English efen, efn; cognate with Gothic ibns, Old High German eban, Old Norse jafn “even, equal”; adverb and verb derivative of the adjective

synonym study for even

1. See level.


e·ven·er, noune·ven·ly, adverbe·ven·ness, noun

Other definitions for even (2 of 3)

[ ee-vuhn ]
/ ˈi vən /

noun Archaic.
evening; eve.

Origin of even

First recorded before 950; Middle English eve(n), Old English ǣfen, ēven; akin to German Abend, Old Frisian āvend, ēvend; see evening

Other definitions for even (3 of 3)

[ ey-wuhn, ev-uhn ]
/ ˈeɪ wən, ˈɛv ən /

noun, plural E·vens, (especially collectively) E·ven for 1.
a member of a Siberian people living mainly in the Yakut Autonomous Republic in the Russian Federation.
the Tungusic language spoken by the Even.
Also called Lamut.

Origin of Even

<Russian ėvén<Evenki əwən
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What is a basic definition of even?

Even describes something as being flat or equal. Even is also used to intensify a statement. In math, even means a number is divisible by 2. The word even has many other senses as an adjective, adverb, and verb.

If a surface is even, it is flat or smooth. It doesn’t have any hills, bumps, or things sticking out of it. In a similar sense, even means a surface is level and doesn’t slant or slope.

  • Real-life examples: An even coat of paint doesn’t have air pockets or isn’t heavier in one area (and, as a result, is a darker shade). Even skin is free of pimples, bumps, blisters, and possibly even hair.
  • Used in a sentence: You need to set up the camera on even ground to get a great picture.

If two sides are even, they are equal or fairly distributed. For example, exchanging a 10-dollar bill for two 5-dollar bills is an even trade. Two basketball teams that each have five players have an even amount of players.

This sense of even is often used figuratively to refer to revenge. You might “get even” with someone by causing them a supposedly equal amount of suffering that you received earlier. However, people you get even with rarely see it as getting even.

  • Real-life examples: A soccer match ending with a 1–1 score means the two teams have an even score. If you borrow $10 from someone, you need to pay them $10 back in order to be even with them. If you put even amounts of weight on two sides of a scale, you are putting the exact same amount on each side.
  • Used in a sentence: Everybody got an even number of pizza slices to eat.

As an adverb, even is used as an intensifier. This sense of even is very versatile, indicating something is very unlikely, an extreme case, or a surprising comparison.

  • Used in a sentence: Even my three-year-old daughter draws better than I do.

Even numbers can be divided by 2 without leaving a remainder or resulting in a decimal.

  • Real-life examples: 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 are even numbers. 17 is not an even number because 17 divided by 2 equals 8.5 (or 8 with a remainder of 1).
  • Used in a sentence: Somehow, I never have an even number of socks and always end up with a single sock sitting by itself in the drawer.

Where does even come from?

The first records of even come from before the 900s. It comes from the Old English efen and is related to the Old Norse jafn.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to even?

  • uneven (adjective)
  • evenly (adverb)
  • evenness (noun)
  • evener (noun)

What are some synonyms for even?

What are some words that share a root or word element with even

What are some words that often get used in discussing even?

How is even used in real life?

Even is a very common word that is often used to mean smooth or equal. Using even to intensify a statement is also very common.

Try using even!

True or False?

392 is an even number.

How to use even in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for even (1 of 2)

/ (ˈiːvən) /

to make or become even

Derived forms of even

evener, nounevenly, adverbevenness, noun

Word Origin for even

Old English efen; related to Old Norse jafn even, equal, Gothic ibns, Old High German eban

British Dictionary definitions for even (2 of 2)

/ (ˈiːvən) /

an archaic word for eve, evening

Word Origin for even

Old English ǣfen; related to Old Frisian ēvend, Old High German āband
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

Scientific definitions for even

[ ēvən ]

Divisible by 2 with a remainder of 0, such as 12 or 876.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with even


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