[ nev-er ]
/ ˈnɛv ər /


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

before 900; Middle English; Old English nǣfre, equivalent to ne not + ǣfre ever Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for never

British Dictionary definitions for never


/ (ˈnɛvə) /

adverb, sentence substitute

at no time; not ever
certainly not; by no means; in no case


Also: well I never! surely not!

Word Origin for never

Old English nǣfre, from ne not + æfre ever


In informal speech and writing, never can be used instead of not with the simple past tenses of certain verbs for emphasis (I never said that; I never realized how clever he was), but this usage should be avoided in serious writing
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

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

also see:

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