Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- used to link a semantically weaker word to a semantically stronger word following the adverb, both sharing the same basic meaning, indicating the increased likelihood of the former
2013 April 9, Andrei Lankov, “Stay Cool. Call North Korea’s Bluff.”, in New York Times:
- People who talk about an imminent possibility of war seldom pose this question: What would North Korea’s leadership get from unleashing a war that they are likely to lose in weeks, if not days?