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See also: Every


Alternative forms[edit]


Inherited from Middle English every, everich, eaver-euch, averiche, aver alche, ever ælche, from Old English ǣfre ǣlċ, ǣfre ǣġhwelċ (each and every). By surface analysis, ever +‎ each or ever +‎ which.


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈɛv.(ə.)ɹi/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛvɹi
  • Hyphenation: ev‧ery, ev‧e‧ry



  1. All of a countable group (considered individually), without exception.
    Every person in the room stood and cheered.
    • 1892, Walter Besant, chapter III, in The Ivory Gate [], New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, [], →OCLC:
      At half-past nine on this Saturday evening, the parlour of the Salutation Inn, High Holborn, contained most of its customary visitors. [] In former days every tavern of repute kept such a room for its own select circle, a club, or society, of habitués, who met every evening, for a pipe and a cheerful glass.
    • 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter V, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
      Here, in the transept and choir, where the service was being held, one was conscious every moment of an increasing brightness; colours glowing vividly beneath the circular chandeliers, and the rows of small lights on the choristers' desks flashed and sparkled in front of the boys' faces, deep linen collars, and red neckbands.
    • 2013 June 7, David Simpson, “Fantasy of navigation”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, page 36:
      Like most human activities, ballooning has sponsored heroes and hucksters and a good deal in between. For every dedicated scientist patiently recording atmospheric pressure and wind speed while shivering at high altitudes, there is a carnival barker with a bevy of pretty girls willing to dangle from a basket or parachute down to earth.
  2. Denotes equal spacing at a stated interval, or a proportion corresponding to such a spacing.
    We stopped for refreshments every ten miles.
    The alarm is going off every few minutes.
    Every third bead was red, and the rest were blue. The sequence was thus red, blue, blue, red, blue, blue etc.
    Decimation originally meant the execution of every tenth soldier in a unit; that is, ten per cent of soldiers were killed.
  3. (with certain nouns) Denotes an abundance of something.
    We wish you every happiness in the future.
    I have every confidence in him.
    There is every reason why we should not go.
    The police will make every effort to trace the missing girl.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Now generally used only for a group of three or more, but formerly could be used for two, in the sense of "each" or "both":
  • 1828, James Hogg, Mary Burnet:
    But it is true that I tell ye; our dear bairn is to meet us at Moffat the morn, wi' a son in every hand; and we maun e'en gang and see her aince again, and kiss her and bless her afore we dee.



Derived terms[edit]


  • Sranan Tongo: ibri


See also[edit]


Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of everich