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ever - definition and synonyms

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adverb     ever pronunciation in British English
  1. 1
    at any time
    1. a.
      [usually in negatives or questions] at any time in the past, present, or future

      If you ever need any help, just let me know.

      Was Desmond ever in the army?

      have you ever done something?:

      Have you ever been to Cape Town?

      hardly ever (=almost never):

      It hardly ever rains here in the summer.

      rarely/seldom, if ever (=rarely and probably never):

      The method seldom, if ever, fails.

    2. b.
      used for emphasizing that something has never happened before or should never happen

      Don’t ever do that again.

      It was the only serious question he had ever asked me.

      never ever:

      We must never ever forget how those brave men fought for our freedom.


      Trevor Boulton is celebrating his first victory ever in the tournament.

    3. c.
      used for emphasis when making comparisons with the past
      more/bigger/better etc than ever:

      Isabel’s looking lovelier than ever.

      the most/biggest/best etc ever:

      Thailand’s largest ever trade fair

  2. 2
    used before a comparative adjective or adverb for showing that something is growing or developing all the time

    The tax laws grow ever more complex.

    Our aim is an ever closer union of nation states.

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a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

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a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

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