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
1125–75; Middle English every, everich, Old English ǣfre ǣlc ever each
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Related Words for every now and thensometimes
British Dictionary definitions for every now and then
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 for every
C15 everich, from Old English ǣfre ǣlc, from ǣfre ever + ǣlc each
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 every now and then
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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Idioms and Phrases with every now and then
Also, every now and again; every once in a while; every so often. Occasionally, from time to time; also, periodically. For example, Every now and then I long for a piece of chocolate, or We take long walks every now and again, or Every once in a while he'll call, or Every so often she washes the car. The first term dates from the first half of the 1700s, the last from the mid-1900s. Also see from time to time; once in a while.
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
- at every turn
- each and every
- finger in the (every) pie
- living soul, every
- nook and cranny, every
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.