Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adverb At all times; always.
  • adverb At any time.
  • adverb In any way; at all.
  • adverb To a great extent or degree. Used for emphasis, often with so.
  • idiom (again/anon) Now and then; occasionally.
  • idiom (for ever and a day) Always; forever.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adverb At any time; at any period or point of time.
  • adverb At all times; through all time; always; forever.
  • adverb Without cessation; continually.
  • adverb now and then; often. See under Anon.
  • adverb [Obs.] continually; constantly.
  • adverb in whatever degree; to whatever extent; -- used to intensify indefinitely the meaning of the associated adjective or adverb. See Never so, under Never.
  • adverb eternally. See Forever.
  • adverb emphatically forever.
  • adverb [Archaic] before. See Or, ere.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adverb Always
  • adverb At any time.
  • adverb In any way
  • adverb informal As intensifier.
  • adjective epidemiology Occurring at any time, occurring even but once during a timespan.

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old English ǣfre; see aiw- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").

Examples

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