Idioms

    every other, every alternate: a meeting every other week.

Origin of other

before 900; Middle English; Old English ōther (pronoun, adj., and noun); cognate with German ander, Gothic anthar; akin to Sanskrit antara-

every

[ev-ree]

adjective

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.

Idioms

    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

Synonym study

1. See each.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for every other

every

determiner

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
  1. in all directions; everywhereI looked every which way for you
  2. 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

other

determiner

  1. (when used before a singular noun, usually preceded by the)the remaining (one or ones in a group of which one or some have been specified)I'll read the other sections of the paper later
  2. the other(as pronoun; functioning as sing)one walks while the other rides
(a) different (one or ones from that or those already specified or understood)he found some other house; no other man but you; other days were happier
additional; furtherthere are no other possibilities
(preceded by every) alternate; twoit buzzes every other minute
other than
  1. apart from; besidesa lady other than his wife
  2. different fromhe couldn't be other than what he is Archaic form: other from
no other archaic nothing elseI can do no other
or other (preceded by a phrase or word with some) used to add vagueness to the preceding pronoun, noun, noun phrase, or adverbsome dog or other bit him; he's somewhere or other
other things being equal conditions being the same or unchanged
the other day a few days ago
the other thing an unexpressed alternative

pronoun

anothershow me one other
(plural) additional or further onesthe police have found two and are looking for others
(plural) other people or things
the others the remaining ones (of a group)take these and leave the others
(plural) different ones (from those specified or understood)they'd rather have others, not these See also each other, one another

adverb

(usually used with a negative and foll by than) otherwise; differentlythey couldn't behave other than they do

Word Origin for other

Old English ōther; related to Old Saxon āthar, ōthar, Old High German andar

xref

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 other

every

adj.

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.

other

adj.

Old English oþer "the second" (adj.), also as a pronoun, "one of the two, other," from Proto-Germanic *antharaz (cf. Old Saxon athar, Old Frisian other, Old Norse annarr, Middle Dutch and Dutch ander, Old High German andar, German ander, Gothic anþar "other").

These are from PIE *an-tero-, variant of *al-tero- "the other of two" (cf. Lithuanian antras, Sanskrit antarah "other, foreign," Latin alter), from root *al- "beyond" (see alias) + adjectival comparative suffix *-tero-. The Old English, Old Saxon, and Old Frisian forms show "a normal loss of n before fricatives" [Barnhart]. Meaning "different" is mid-13c.

Sense of "second" was detached from this word in English (which uses second, from Latin) and German (zweiter, from zwei "two") to avoid ambiguity. In Scandinavian, however, the second floor is still the "other" floor (e.g. Swedish andra, Danish anden). Also cf. Old English oþergeara "next year."

The other woman "a woman with whom a man begins a love affair while he is already committed" is from 1855. The other day originally (mid-12c.) was "the next day;" later (c.1300) "yesterday;" and now, loosely, "a day or two ago" (early 15c.). Phrase other half in reference to either the poor or the rich, is recorded from c.1600.

La moitié du monde ne sçayt comment l'aultre vit. [Rabelais, "Pantagruel," 1532]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with every other

every other

Every second one in a series, as in I'm supposed to take this pill every other day. [c. 1400]

every

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

also see:

  • at every turn
  • each and every
  • finger in the (every) pie
  • living soul, every
  • nook and cranny, every

other

In addition to the idioms beginning with other

  • other day, the
  • other fish to fry
  • other good fish in the sea
  • other side of the coin
  • other side of the tracks
  • other than
  • other things being equal
  • other way round, the

also see:

  • at each other's throats
  • do unto others
  • each other
  • every other
  • in one ear and out the other
  • in someone's pocket (live in each other's pockets)
  • in other words
  • laugh out of the other side of one's mouth
  • look the other way
  • made for (each other)
  • none other than
  • on the one (the other) hand
  • or other
  • right (other) side of the tracks
  • shoe is on the other foot
  • six of one, half a dozen of the other
  • the other day
  • this and that (and the other)
  • turn the other cheek
  • wait for the other shoe to drop
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.