from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adverb Not ever; on no occasion; at no time.
  • adverb Not at all; in no way; absolutely not.
  • idiom (never mind) Don't bother.
  • idiom (never mind) Not to mention; and certainly not.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Not ever; not at any time; at no time, whether past, present, or future.
  • In no degree; not at all; not a whit; not, emphatically.
  • [Never in this use, with the following indefinite article a, is equivalent to no, or none, and in the contracted form ne'er a is the source of the dialectal or slang adjectivc nary.
  • [In this idiom there is a suppressed comparison—‘never (at any other time) so (great, good, much, etc.) as in the case supposed or considered.’ Never, becoming merely emphatic, is now usually replaced by ever.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adverb Not ever; not at any time; at no time, whether past, present, or future.
  • adverb In no degree; not in the least; not.
  • adverb [Obs.] not a bit.
  • adverb as never before; more than at any other time, or in any other circumstances; especially; particularly; -- now often expressed or replaced by ever so.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adverb At no time; on no occasion; in no circumstance.
  • adverb Not at any other time; not on any other occasion; not previously.
  • adverb colloquial Negative particle (used to negate verbs in the simple past tense; also used absolutely).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adverb not ever; at no time in the past or future
  • adverb not at all; certainly not; not in any circumstances


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English nǣfre : ne, not; see ne in Indo-European roots + ǣfre, ever; see aiw- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English næfre


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    Catch a Pithecus by the Toe 2010

  • I've never been a game player, just a reader, but something makes we want to read this one..never heard about it until today..anyone else heard anything about this?

    New Releases: Week of September 1, 2009 Jeff C 2009

  • When it comes to establishment, is religion established more by an attitude that individuals, who do have religious freedom, are expected to actually *exercise* that particular muscle, or by ingraining in every faint heart the notion that you never *never* have to face the fact that others don't share your sentiments?

    Just in time for the election, Michael Newdow's "Under God" lawsuit is back, along with a challenge to "In God We Trust" on U.S. currency. Ann Althouse 2007

  • And definitely never drink and dial…..never a good idea….

    Think Progress » Burns next target in Abramoff probe? 2006

  • And definitely never drink and dial…..never a good idea….

    Think Progress » Burns next target in Abramoff probe? 2006

  • So, offering up a suggestion of biological causation of differences is never value-free a cigar is _never_ just a cigar and gives the supposed difference _way_ more credence than it ever deserves.

    Guest post by Mary Schweitzer 2005

  • You never know when some nut is going to come out of the woodwork and claim you stole her idea, you're stalking George Clooney and you are drunk and disorderly on the balcony late at night...oh wait...those last two things..never mind.

    If I hold you harmless, will you hold it against me? Miss Snark 2005

  • Ohhhh but not that I am blaming him, I never  never would, it's just that I wish everything was like it used to be and that he was still happy and alive and laughing and I could be too instead of feeling like this.

    sheepdip Diary Entry sheepdip 2003

  • I nodded off with my head on his chest, thinking I've never been happier, I'll never leave this man, I'll never leave this place, I'll never come down, never come down ... _never come down_.

    Never Come Down Black, Michelle 1996

  • I never, _never_ expected to see them again, and it was like some kind of bloody miracle, and you were the one who -- okay, Mrs. Gamadge says we'll both be crying in a minute so I better get on with it.

    Murder Crossed Boylan, Eleanor 1996


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  • Never, a portmanteau of not and ever.

    June 2, 2024

  • kind of tired of seeing these jokey portmanteau comments. "Never" is not a portmanteau of not and ever. It's a compound of two old English words ne and <em>ǣfre</em> that happened over 1000 years ago. Even if you disregard that, and grant that that amounts to the same thing—i.e., compounding not and ever—it's very arguable that it's a portmanteau since it doesn't really merge the sounds of the component words, the most you can say about it is it's a compound.

    June 17, 2024