Learner's definition of EVER
1 : at any time
The crime rate is higher now than it has ever been.
He's forgotten all he's ever learned about history.
Have you ever been to France?
She's doing fine and is as pretty as ever.
No one has ever seen a better example of woodwork.
We need your help now more than ever (before).
Has this ever been done before?
That was my best vacation ever. [=the best vacation I have ever had]
Did it ever occur to you that I might like more myself?
He's a born politician if ever I saw one. [=he is certainly a born politician]
That was the worst movie I ever saw.
I don't ever want to do that again. = (informal) I don't want to ever do that again. = I don't want to do that again, ever!
3 : to a greater degree
Technology in recent years has become ever more sophisticated.
The deadline draws ever closer.
Millions of farmers were forced into ever-deeper debt during the Great Depression.
4 — used after words like where, who, how, and why to make a question more forceful
— also used in indirect questions
How ever can I (possibly) thank you?
What ever happened to my former classmates?
Where ever did I put my keys?
“I can't do that.” “Why ever not?”
Who ever would want to go there?
5 US, informal — used to give stress to what follows
: as has always been true: as usual
: from that time forward
◊ Fairy tales sometimes end by saying that the characters in the story lived happily ever after.
The phrase live happily ever after is also used to describe real people who are being compared in some way to characters in a fairy tale.
ever and anonold-fashioned + literary
: at different times: now and then
1 : continually or often from a past time until now 2 : continually from the time in the past when
ever suchchiefly British, informal
— used as a more forceful way to say “such”
— used especially in speech as a more forceful way to say “never”
: almost never
◊ Some people regard rarely ever and seldom ever as incorrect, but these phrase are common in speech and in informal writing.
rarely/seldom if ever
— used as a more forceful way to say “rarely” or “seldom”
◊ Rarely if ever and seldom if ever can be written both with or without commas
Such radical opinions have rarely, if ever, been heard here before.
She rarely if ever sings anymore.
Yours everBritishorEver yours
— used as a way to end an informal letter