from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Having a horizontal surface; flat: an even floor.
  • adj. Having no irregularities, roughness, or indentations; smooth. See Synonyms at level.
  • adj. Being in the same plane or line; parallel: The picture is even with the window.
  • adj. Having no variations or fluctuations; uniform: the even rhythm of his breathing.
  • adj. Of uniform distribution: an even application of varnish.
  • adj. Placid; calm: an even temperament.
  • adj. Equal or identical in degree, extent, or amount: Use even amounts of butter and sugar.
  • adj. Equally matched or balanced: an even fight.
  • adj. Just; fair: an even bargain.
  • adj. Having nothing due on either side; square: If we each take half, then we'll be even.
  • adj. Having exacted full revenge.
  • adj. Having equal probability; as likely as not: an even chance of winning.
  • adj. Sports Having an equal score: The teams are even at halftime.
  • adj. Sports Being equal for each opponent. Used of a score.
  • adj. Mathematics Exactly divisible by 2.
  • adj. Mathematics Characterized or indicated by a number exactly divisible by 2.
  • adj. Having an even number in a sequence.
  • adj. Having an even number of members.
  • adj. Having an exact amount, extent, or number; precise: an even pound; an even foot.
  • adv. To a greater degree or extent. Used as an intensive with comparative adjectives and adverbs: Looked sick and felt even worse.
  • adv. Indeed; moreover. Used as an intensive: He was depressed, even suicidal. Even a child knows better.
  • adv. Used as an intensive to indicate something that is unexpected: declined even to consider the idea.
  • adv. At the same time as; already; just: Even as we watched, the building collapsed.
  • adv. To a degree that extends; fully: loyal even unto death.
  • adv. Exactly; precisely: It was even as he said: the jewel was gone.
  • transitive v. To make or become even.
  • idiom on an even keel In a stable or unimpaired state: "There was good reason to keep relations with Washington on an even keel” ( Helen Kitchen).
  • n. Archaic Evening.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Flat and level.
  • adj. Without great variation.
  • adj. Equal in proportion, quantity, size, etc.
  • adj. Divisible by two.
  • adj. Convenient for rounding other numbers to; for example, ending in a zero.
  • adj. On equal monetary terms; neither owing or being owed.
  • adj. On equal terms of a moral sort; quits.
  • v. To make flat and level.
  • adv. exactly, just, fully
  • adv. Implying an extreme example in the case mentioned, as compared to the implied reality
  • adv. Emphasizing a comparative
  • n. Evening.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Level, smooth, or equal in surface; not rough; free from irregularities; hence uniform in rate of motion of action
  • adj. Equable; not easily ruffled or disturbed; calm; uniformly self-possessed.
  • adj. Parallel; on a level; reaching the same limit.
  • adj. Balanced; adjusted; fair; equitable; impartial; just to both sides; owing nothing on either side; -- said of accounts, bargains, or persons indebted
  • adj. Without an irregularity, flaw, or blemish; pure.
  • adj. Associate; fellow; of the same condition.
  • adj. Not odd; capable of division by two without a remainder; -- said of numbers.
  • adv. In an equal or precisely similar manner; equally; precisely; just; likewise; as well.
  • adv. Up to, or down to, an unusual measure or level; so much as; fully; quite.
  • adv. As might not be expected; -- serving to introduce what is unexpected or less expected.
  • adv. At the very time; in the very case.
  • n. Evening. See eve, n. 1.
  • intransitive v. To be equal.
  • transitive v. To make even or level; to level; to lay smooth.
  • transitive v. To equal.
  • transitive v. To place in an equal state, as to obligation, or in a state in which nothing is due on either side; to balance, as accounts; to make quits; to make equal.
  • transitive v. To set right; to complete.
  • transitive v. To act up to; to keep pace with.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Level, plane, or smooth; hence, not rough or irregular; free from inequalities, irregularities, or obstructions: as, even ground; an even surface.
  • Uniform in action, character, or quality; equal or equable; unvarying; unwavering: as, an even temper; to hold an even course.
  • Situated on a level, or on the same level; being in the same line or plane; parallel; consentaneous; accordant: followed by with.
  • On an equality in any respect; on an equal level or footing; of equal or the same measure or quantity; in an equivalent state or condition; equally balanced or adjusted: as, our accounts are even; an even chance; an even bargain; letters of even date; to get even with an antagonist.
  • Plain to comprehension; lucid; clear.
  • Without fractional parts; neither more nor less; entire; unbroken: as, an even mile; an even pound or quart; an even hundred or thousand.
  • Divisible, as a number, by 2: thus, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, are even numbers: opposed to odd, as 1, 3, etc. See evenly even, unevenly even, below.
  • Without projecting parts; having all the ends terminating in the same plane: in ornithology, said of the tail of a bird all the feathers of which are of equal length.
  • In entomology, plane; horizontal, flat, and not deflexed at the margins: applied especially to the elytra when they form together a plane surface, and to the wings when they are extended horizontally in repose. [Even was formerly used in composition with the sense of fellow-or co-. See even-Christian, even-bishop, even-servant.]
  • n. In the Pythagorean philos., that element of the universe which is represented by the even numbers: identified with the unlimited and imperfect.
  • In an even manner; so as to be even; straight; evenly: as, to run even.
  • Straightway; directly.
  • Just; exactly; at or to the very point; moreover; likewise; so much as: used to emphasize or strengthen an assertion: as, he was not satisfied even then; even this was not enough. In verse often contracted e'en.
  • To make even or level; level; lay smooth.
  • To place in an equal state as to claim or obligation, or in a state in which nothing is due on either side; balance, as accounts.
  • To equal; compare; bring into comparison, as one thing with another; connect or associate, as one thing or person with another: as, such a charge can never be evened to me.
  • To act up to; keep pace with.
  • To be or become even; have or come to an equality in any respect; range, divide, settle, etc., evenly: followed by with.
  • n. Evening: the earlier word for evening, but now archaic or poetical.
  • n. Same as eve, 2.
  • n. Often contracted e'en.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. occurring at fixed intervals
  • adv. used as an intensive especially to indicate something unexpected
  • v. become even or more even
  • adj. of the score in a contest
  • v. make even or more even
  • adj. divisible by two
  • adv. in spite of; notwithstanding
  • adv. to a greater degree or extent; used with comparisons
  • v. make level or straight
  • adv. to the full extent
  • adj. symmetrically arranged
  • n. the latter part of the day (the period of decreasing daylight from late afternoon until nightfall)
  • adj. equal in degree or extent or amount; or equally matched or balanced
  • adj. being level or straight or regular and without variation as e.g. in shape or texture; or being in the same plane or at the same height as something else (i.e. even with)


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English, from Old English efen.
Middle English, from Old English ǣfen.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old English efen, efn, emn ("even, equal, like, level, just, impartial, true"), from Proto-Germanic *ebnaz (“flat, level, even; equal, straight”), from Proto-Indo-European *(h₁)emno- (“equal, straight; flat, level, even”). Cognate with West Frisian even ("even"), Dutch even ("even, equal, same"), German eben ("even, flat, level"), Danish jævn ("even, flat, smooth"), Swedish jämn ("even, level, smooth"), Icelandic jafn, jamn ("even, equal"), Old Cornish eun ("equal, right") (attested in Vocabularium Cornicum eun-hinsic ("iustus, i. e., just")), Old Breton eun ("equal, right") (attested in Eutychius Glossary eunt ("aequus, i. e., equal")), Middle Breton effn, Breton eeun, Sanskrit अस्नस् (amnás, "(adverb) just, just now; at once").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English efen

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English ǣfen. Cognate with Dutch avond, German Abend.



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  • So even is translating particles in Hebrew and Greek?

    I know zip about Hebrew, but from my scant knowledge of Greek, the "men... de..." construction connotes a sense of internal opposition, sometimes translated as "on the one hand... on the other hand..." or "while... whereas...", but not as strong as these English constructions and much more frequently employed, so often left untranslated.

    So I would argue that while even in the Biblical examples is translating a kind of emphatic construction, it would be more appropriate, in this case, not to attempt a translation in English (notwithstanding the timbre the KJB derives from this kind of distinctive usage). However, perhaps there is an equivalent in Arabic?

    April 4, 2012

  • Even, amen certainly is an adverb! (gather around) together!

    April 3, 2012

  • Here is more from the KJV Bible. "And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die." Gen 6: 17. Similar usage repeats in Lev_26:28, Isa_46:4 , Jer_23:39, Eze_5:8,

    1Th_2:18 . I agree it is probably not exactly the same sense. Other examples of use in religious text is this usage which occurs several times in the Book of Mormon, "And it came to pass that the Lord commanded my father, even in a dream, that he should take his family and depart into the wilderness." 1Nephi 2:1 and 2:2. Looking back at the Biblical usage in verses such as Eze 5: 8, Strong's Hebrew dictionary shows that 'even' is translated from the Hebrew word 'gam' (By contraction from an unused root meaning to gather; properly assemblage; used only adverbially also, even, yea, though; often repeated as correlation both... and: - again, alike, also, (so much) as (soon), both (so) . . . and, but, either . . . or, even, for all, (in) likewise (manner), moreover, nay . . . neither, one, then (-refore), though, what, with, yea.); Whereas, the 'even' in 1Th 2:18 is from the Greek word 'men', which according to the dictionary is "A primary particle; properly indicative of affirmation or concession (in fact); usually followed by a contrasted clause with G1161deh

    A primary particle (adversative or continuative); but, and, etc.: - also, and, but, moreover, now [often unexpressed in English

    .] (this one, the former, etc.: - even, indeed, so, some, truly, verily. Often compounded with other particles in an intensive or asseverative sense."

    I apologize for all this information, but I am working on a religious project that requires what is called a 'modified literal' translation, which means that since, even, is used as a device for emphasis, it has to be translated. The language I am translating into, Arabic, has several words and methods to show emphasis and I am trying to decide which of the options would most closely match this sense of 'even'.

    April 2, 2012

  • n. In the Pythagorean philos., that element of the universe which is represented by the even numbers: identified with the unlimited and imperfect. (from the Century Dictionary definition above)

    Odd, for one, to be even, too!

    April 1, 2012

  •  A few different translations of the verse: 40 Then David took his shepherd's staff, selected five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the pocket of his shepherd's pack, and with his sling in his hand approached Goliath. (The Message)


    Then he took his staff in his hand, and chose five smooth stones from the wadi, and put them in his shepherd's bag, in the pouch; his sling was in his hand, and he drew near to the Philistine. (NRSV)

    April 1, 2012

  • It does seem odd.

    (Somebody had to say it.)

    April 1, 2012

  • I have also often wondered about this archaic sense of even. It doesn't seem to be adequately addressed in the definitions given here.

    April 1, 2012

  • In the bible there is the verse, "And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine." 1Sa 17: 40. In what sense is the word 'even' used here? Is it just emphasis? and why emphasize the scrip this way?

    March 31, 2012

  • Norwegian male name.

    March 29, 2009

  • Neve in reverse.

    July 22, 2007