Definitions

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

  • adv. At all times; always: ever hoping to strike it rich.
  • adv. At any time: Have you ever been to Europe?
  • adv. In any way; at all: How did they ever manage? See Usage Note at rarely.
  • adv. To a great extent or degree. Used for emphasis often with so: He was ever so sorry. Was she ever mad!
  • idiom again Now and then; occasionally.
  • idiom for ever and a day Always; forever.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adv. Always
  • adv. At any time.
  • adv. In any way
  • adv. As intensifier.
  • adj. Occurring at any time, occurring even but once during a timespan.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. At any time; at any period or point of time.
  • adv. At all times; through all time; always; forever.
  • adv. Without cessation; continually.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • At all times; always; continually.
  • At any time; at any period or point of time, past or future: in negative, interrogative, or comparative sentences: as, no man is ever the happier for injustice; did you ever see anything like it? I do not think I ever did.
  • In any degree; any; at all: usually in connection with an adverb or adjective in the comparative degree, and after a negative.
  • To any possible degree; in any possible case: with as: a word of enforcement or emphasis: as, as soon as ever he had done it.
  • For all time; to the end of life.
  • Continually; incessantly; without intermission: as, he is for ever in the way; she is for ever singing, from morning to night.

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

  • adv. at all times; all the time and on every occasion
  • adv. at any time
  • adv. (intensifier for adjectives) very

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English ǣfre; see aiw- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English evere, from Old English ǣfre, originally a phrase whose first element undoubtedly consists of Old English ā "ever, always" + in "in" + an element possibly from fēore (nominative feorh) "life, existence". Compare Old English ā tō fēore "ever in life", Old English feorhlīf ("life"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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