Meaning of “even” in the English Dictionary

"even" in British English

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evenadverb

uk /ˈiː.vən/ us /ˈiː.vən/

even adverb (SURPRISE)

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
even though

B2 although:

Even though he left school at 16, he still managed to become prime minister.

More examples

  • He didn't even buy me a card for my birthday.
  • They've already run out of money and the building isn't even half-finished .
  • We hadn't even got as far as London when the car broke down.
  • The new varieties of wheat grow well even in poor soil.
  • This dishwasher even washes pots and pans .

even adverb (EMPHASIS)

B1 used to emphasize a comparison:

The next 36 hours will be even colder with snow showers becoming more widespread.
Any devaluation of the pound would make it even more difficult to keep inflation low.

More examples

  • The traffic congestion in the city gets even worse during the summer.
  • Atoms are made up of smaller particles - protons, neutrons and electrons - some of which are made up of even smaller ones, called quarks.
  • There was quite a lot of traffic today but yesterday was even busier.
  • People are rushing to buy property before prices rise even further.
  • This range of computers is very fast, but their successors will be even faster.

even adverb (MORE EXACTLY)

used when you want to be more exact or detailed about something you have just said:

She has always been very kind to me, even generous on occasion.

More examples

  • The band seemed rather downbeat, even unconcerned about their success.
  • The psychologist's attitude seemed far too casual, even brutal.

Grammar

evenadjective

uk /ˈiː.vən/ us /ˈiː.vən/

even adjective (FLAT)

flat and smooth, or on the same level:

We resurfaced the floor because it wasn't even.

More examples

  • Spread a nice even layer of butter on each slice of bread.
  • We chose a large even stretch of grassy to pitch our caravan on.
  • The paving slabs were not even, and Granny had a nasty fall.
  • You need a nice even surface to draw on - I'll get you a piece of board.
  • I complained to the builders that the floor wasn't even.

even adjective (CONTINUOUS)

continuous or regular:

You should try to work at an even rate instead of taking it easy one day and working flat out the next.

More examples

  • The paint isn't very even, is it? We'd better give it another coat.
  • Her breathing became slow and even, so I knew she was asleep.
  • The monitor showed that he had a clear even heartbeat.
  • Try to keep the beat even - don't speed up toward the end of the piece.
  • He runs with long, even strides, never breaking his rhythm.

even adjective (EQUAL)

equal or equally balanced:

Both sides played well - it was a very even contest.
The weather forecast said that there's an even chance of thunderstorms tonight (= that it is equally likely that there will or will not be storms).

US UK evens equally likely to happen as to not happen:

The chances of her getting the job are about evens.

used to refer to a situation in which you risk money on something where the risk is equally balanced, and will pay back twice the amount of money that is paid if it is successful:

an even bet
If I were betting I'd take even money on United.

More examples

  • Halfway through the tournament Montgomery and Woods were even, but then Woods drew ahead.
  • It really wasn't an even contest - the other team was far stronger than us.
  • The distribution of wealth across the country from the north to the south is far from even.
  • The children complained that the slices of pizza were not even in size.
  • There doesn't seem to be a very even balance in their relationship in terms of household duties.

even adjective (NUMBER)

forming a whole number that can be divided exactly by two:

6 is an even number and 7 is an odd number.

More examples

  • If you're multiplying by an even number, you know the answer can't be an odd number.
  • The houses with odd numbers are on one side of the street, and those with even numbers are on the other.

evenverb [ T ]

uk /ˈiː.vən/ us /ˈiː.vən/

(Definition of “even” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"even" in American English

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evenadjective

us /ˈi·vən/

even adjective (EQUAL)

equal or equally balanced:

The class has a pretty even mix of boys and girls.
I bought the tickets, so if you pay for dinner we’ll be even (= you will not owe me any money).

even adjective (CONTINUOUS)

continuous or regular:

We walked at an even pace.

even adjective (FLAT)

flat and smooth, or on the same level:

The snow was even with the kitchen doorstep.

even adjective (NUMBER)

[ not gradable ] (of numbers) able to be exactly divided by two:

The result should be an even number.

evenadverb [ not gradable ]

us /ˈi·vən/

even adverb [ not gradable ] (EMPHASIS)

used to emphasize a comparison or the unexpected or extreme characteristic of something:

Even smart people can make mistakes.
She never cried – not even when she was badly hurt.
Even with a good education, you need some common sense to get ahead.
The new service is one of the most useful and popular on the Web. Even better, it's free to use.

even adverb [ not gradable ] (MORE EXACTLY)

used when you want to be more exact or detailed about something you have just said:

I’d like to get a place in the Rocky Mountains, maybe Colorado or Montana – Idaho even.

evenverb [ I/T ]

us /ˈi·vən/

even verb [ I/T ] (EQUAL)

to make equal:

[ T ] Tonight’s win evens their record at 6-6.
[ M ] They won the next night to even up the score.
[ M ] Taking me to the movies isn’t going to even things out.

(Definition of “even” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"even" in Business English

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evenadjective

uk /ˈiːvən/ us

happening in a smooth, gradual, and regular way instead of changing a lot or changing suddenly:

an even rate/pace Share prices are continuing to rise at an even rate.

fair and equal:

an even trade/deal Both parties considered the exchange an even trade, with each property valued at $1.7 million.
an even ten/fifty/hundred, etc.

informal used to describe a number that ends in 0, not more or less than that number:

"Will you sell it for $45?" "Make it an even fifty and you got a deal."
on an even keel

able to stay even and regular, and not change suddenly:

get back/stay/keep on an even keel Investors are hoping the new board will help share prices get back on an even keel.

(Definition of “even” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)