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every - definition and synonyms


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determiner every pronunciation in British English /ˈevri/
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Every is generally used before a singular countable noun. The only exceptions are at Sense 2, where every can be used in phrases like ‘every three hours’, and at Sense 3.
A noun subject that follows every is used with a singular verb.
In formal writing, a pronoun or possessive adjective that refers to a subject with every is usually singular: Every employee has his or her own key to the building. However, in conversation and in informal writing these pronouns and possessive adjectives are often plural: Every employee has their own key to the building.
  1. 1
    used for referring to all the people or things of a particular type or in a particular group, or all the parts of something

    Every bedroom has its own private bathroom.

    She wrote to every member of the committee.

    I can remember every detail of our conversation.

    every single (=used for emphasis):

    This is a decision that affects every single one of us.

    every inch/moment/word (=used for emphasizing that you mean the whole of something):

    A wonderful experience! I enjoyed every moment of it.

    Synonyms and related words
  2. 2
    used for showing how often something happens or how far apart things are, especially when there is a regular time or distance between them
    every day/every two hours/every few miles etc:

    You should take one tablet every four hours.

    There are army checkpoints every few miles along the road.

    every other day/week/month etc (=on the first, third, fifth etc days, weeks, or months):

    I have to work every other weekend.

    The committee meets every other month.

    every now and again/every now and then/every so often/every once in a while (=sometimes but not often):

    Every so often he would stop work and look towards the gate.

    Every now and then (=not too frequently) an event occurs that changes public attitudes.

    Synonyms and related words
  3. 3
    used for showing how common something is by giving a number as a part of a larger number

    Almost one in every five computers was found to be faulty.

    Synonyms and related words
  4. 4
    used before some words for emphasis
    every reason/sign/intention etc:

    The team has every reason to feel proud after last night’s stunning performance.

    We wish you both every happiness in your future life together.

    Synonyms and related words
See also


used to describe something which is done more carefully and over a longer period of time …

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the practice of giving birth in the presence of several friends and relatives

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