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

before 900; (adj.) Middle English; Old English efen; cognate with Gothic ibns, Old High German eban, Old Norse jafn even, equal; (adv.) Middle English even(e), Old English efne, derivative of the adj.; (v.) Middle English evenen, Old English efnan to lower, derivative of the adj.
Related formse·ven·er, noune·ven·ly, adverbe·ven·ness, noun

Synonyms for even

1. plane. See level. 12. tranquil, temperate, composed, peaceful. 13. just.

Antonyms for even

1. irregular. 12. mercurial. 13. biased. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for evener

Historical Examples of evener

British Dictionary definitions for evener




level and regular; flatan even surface
(postpositive foll by with) on the same level or in the same plane (as)one surface even with another
without variation or fluctuation; regular; constantan even rate of progress
not readily moved or excited; placid; calman even temper
equally balanced between two sidesan even game
equal or identical in number, quantity, etctwo even spoonfuls of sugar
  1. (of a number) divisible by two
  2. characterized or indicated by such a numbermaps are on the even pages Compare odd (def. 4)
relating to or denoting two or either of two alternatives, events, etc, that have an equal probabilityan even chance of missing or catching a train
having no balance of debt; neither owing nor being owed
just and impartial; fairan even division
exact in number, amount, or extentan even pound
equal, as in score; levelnow the teams are even
maths (of a function) unchanged in value when the sign of the independent variable is changed, as in y = z ²See odd (def. 8)
even money
  1. a bet in which the winnings are the same as the amount staked
  2. (as modifier)the even-money favourite
get even informal to exact revenge (on); settle accounts (with)
of even date law formal, or obsolete of the same or today's date


(intensifier; used to suggest that the content of a statement is unexpected or paradoxical)even an idiot can do that
(intensifier; used with comparative forms)this is even better
notwithstanding; in spite ofeven having started late she soon caught him up
used to introduce a more precise version of a word, phrase, or statementhe is base, even depraved
used preceding a clause of supposition or hypothesis to emphasize the implication that whether or not the condition in it is fulfilled, the statement in the main clause remains valideven if she died he wouldn't care
archaic that is to say; namely (used for emphasis)he, even he, hath spoken these things
archaic all the way; fullyI love thee even unto death
even as (conjunction) at the very same moment or in the very same way thateven as I spoke, it thundered
even so in spite of any assertion to the contrary: nevertheless


to make or become even
Derived Formsevener, nounevenly, adverbevenness, noun

Word Origin for even

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




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

Word Origin and History for evener



Old English efen "level," also "equal, like; calm, harmonious; quite, fully; namely," from Proto-Germanic *ebnaz (cf. Old Saxon eban, Old Frisian even "level, plain, smooth," Dutch even, Old High German eban, German eben, Old Norse jafn, Danish jævn, Gothic ibns).

Etymologists are uncertain whether the original sense was "level" or "alike." Used extensively in Old English compounds, with a sense of "fellow, co-" (e.g. efeneald "of the same age;" Middle English even-sucker "foster-brother"). Of numbers, from 1550s. Modern adverbial sense (introducing an extreme case of something more generally implied) seems to have arisen 16c. from use of the word to emphasize identity ("Who, me?" "Even you," etc.) Sense of "on an equal footing" is from 1630s. Rhyming reduplication phrase even steven is attested from 1866; even break first recorded 1911. Even-tempered from 1875.



"to make level," Old English efnan (see even (adj.)).



"end of the day," Old English æfen, Mercian efen, Northumbrian efern (see eve).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for evener



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.

Idioms and Phrases with evener


In addition to the idioms beginning with even

  • even money
  • even so

also see:

  • break even
  • never give a sucker an even break
  • on an even keel
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.