Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

  

English definition of “even”

even

adverb (SURPRISE)    /ˈiː.vən/
A2 used to show that something is surprising , unusual , unexpected , or extreme : I don't even know where it is. Everyone I know likes the smell of bacon - even Mike does and he's a vegetarian . We were all on time - even Chris and he's usually late for everything. It's a very difficult job - it might even take a year to finish it. "I never cry ." "Not even when you hurt yourself really badly ?" Even with a load of electronic gadgetry , you still need some musical ability to write a successful song .Expressions of surprise even as at the same time as: I tried to reason with him, but even as I started to explain what had happened he stood up to leave .Simultaneous and consecutiveOrder and sequence even if B2 used to say that if something is the case or not, the result is the same: Even if you take a taxi , you'll still miss your train .Connecting words which express a condition even now/then despite something: I've thought about it so much, but even now I can't believe how lucky I was to survive the accident . I gave Jim very clear instructions , but even then he managed to make a mess of it.Now even so C1 despite what has just been said: I had a terrible headache , but even so I went to the concert . An immediate interest cut might give a small boost to the economy . Even so, any recovery is likely to be very slow .Connecting words which express a contrast even though B2 although : Even though he left school at 16, he still managed to become prime minister .Connecting words which express a contrast Grammar:Conjunctions: contrastingThe conjunctions but and although/though connect ideas that contrast. Whereas is also used but it is not as common:Grammar:ButBut is a coordinating conjunction used to connect ideas that contrast. Coordinating conjunctions connect items which are the same grammatical type.Grammar:Although/thoughAlthough/though can be used to contrast ideas. Although/though are subordinating conjunctions used to connect a subordinate clause to a main clause, like after, as, before, if, since, that, even though, even if.Grammar:But or although?But cannot be used in the same way as although/though. We use but to connect items which are the same grammatical type (coordinating conjunction).Grammar:Even though, even ifEven though and even if are also used as subordinating conjunctions in the same way as although/though. Even though is similar to although but it makes a stronger contrast:Grammar:Conjunctions: typical errors[from a brochure advertising an English course in London]Grammar:EvenEven is an adverb.Grammar:Even: positionWhen even refers to a whole clause or sentence, we usually put it in the normal mid position for adverbs, between the subject and the main verb, after the modal verb or first auxiliary verb, or after be as a main verb:Grammar:Even and comparativesWe often use even with comparative adjectives and adverbs to add more emphasis:Grammar:Even and alsoEven and also are both adverbs.Grammar:Eventhough and even ifWe can use even with though and if.Grammar:Even soWe use even so to make a contrast, to mean ‘despite something’. It has a similar meaning to however or nevertheless.
(Definition of even adverb (SURPRISE) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of even

Definitions of “even” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

familiarity

a good knowledge of something, or the fact that you know it so well

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More