- not ever; at no time: Such an idea never occurred to me.
- not at all; absolutely not: never mind; This will never do.
- to no extent or degree: He was never the wiser for his experience.
- never mind, don't bother; don't concern yourself.
Origin of never
Examples from the Web for never
The simple, awful truth is that free speech has never been particularly popular in America.How the PC Police Threaten Free Speech
January 9, 2015
He looks like a man who should have had kids, but now never will.The Muslim Cop Killed by Terrorists
January 9, 2015
In an email exchange a friend said many had repeated this same succinct review but they could never elaborate.
Meanwhile, almost exactly 30 years after the trial, the judge left his home to board a steamboat and was never heard from again.New York’s Most Tragic Ghost Loves Minimalist Swedish Fashion
January 8, 2015
In the end, I find it never fails to modernize even the most dramatic things.
Yet the great lady is not careless of engagements, and the wait is never prolonged.
He has clothed the Graces, though the Graces never clothed him.
He never ceased to feel cheated when he was obliged to ride in New York.
Besides, I never felt contempt for anything to which the gods had given life.
They were never allowed to learn any liberal art, or to sing manly songs.
- at no time; not ever
- certainly not; by no means; in no case
- Also: well I never! surely not!
Word Origin and History for never
Old English næfre "never," compound of ne "not, no" (from PIE root *ne- "no, not;" see un-) + æfre "ever" (see ever). Early used as an emphatic form of not (as still in never mind). Old English, unlike its modern descendant, had the useful custom of attaching ne to words to create their negatives, as in nabban for na habban "not to have."
Italian giammai, French jamais, Spanish jamas are from Latin iam "already" + magis "more;" thus literally "at any time, ever," originally with a negative, but this has been so thoroughly absorbed in sense as to be formally omitted.
Phrase never say die "don't despair" is from 1818. Never Never Land is first attested in Australia as a name for the uninhabited northern part of Queensland (1884), perhaps so called because anyone who had gone there once never wished to return. Meaning "imaginary, illusory or utopian place" first attested 1900 in American English.
Idioms and Phrases with never
In addition to the idioms beginning with never
- never a dull moment
- never fear
- never give a sucker an even break
- never had it so good, one
- never hear the end of
- never mind
- never miss a trick
- never put off until tomorrow
- never say die
- never say never
- better late than never
- it never rains but it pours
- lightning never strikes twice
- now or never
- watched pot never boils
- wonders will never cease
- you never can tell