Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “ever”


adverb (AT ANY TIME)    /ˈev.ər/ US  //
A2 at any time: Nothing ever happens here in the evenings. Have you ever been to London? If you're ever/If ever you're in Rio, do give me a call. He hardly ever (= almost never) washes the dishes and he rarely, if ever, (= probably never) does any cleaning. When there's a James Bond film on TV, I never ever miss it. If ever there was a cause for celebration, this peace treaty was it. The smell is worse than ever. I thought she was famous, but none of my friends have ever heard of her.Always and never better, bigger, more, etc. than ever C1 better, bigger, etc. than at any time before: We are spending more than ever on education.Intensifying expressions as big, fast, good, etc. as ever as big, fast, etc. as at any time before: The restaurants are as good as ever and no more expensive.Similar and the sameDescribing people with the same qualities Grammar:EverEver is an adverb.See moreGrammar:Ever: at any timeSee moreGrammar:Ever after ifWe can use ever immediately after if or in mid position (between the subject and the main verb, or after the modal verb or first auxiliary verb, or after main verb be):See moreGrammar:Ever so and ever suchWe use ever before so and such to add emphasis:See moreGrammar:Ever sinceWe use ever before since to emphasise that something has been true from the beginning of a specific period of time:See moreGrammar:As … as everWe can use ever with the comparative form as … as …. This shows a permanent characteristic of someone or something:See moreGrammar:Ever meaning ‘always’In more formal situations, we can use ever with adjectives to mean ‘always’:See moreGrammar:Never or not … ever?We can use not … ever instead of never, but never is much more common:See more
(Definition of ever adverb (AT ANY TIME) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of ever

Definitions of “ever” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


a person or group who receives money, advantages, etc. as a result of something else

Word of the Day


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