not at any time or not on any occasion
We've never been to Australia.
not at any time; not ever:
She never works on Saturdays.
I've never been to America.
I will never forget you.
nev‧er S1 W1 /ˈnevə $ -ər/ BrE AmE adverb
[Language: Old English; Origin: næfre, from ne- 'not' + æfre 'ever']
1. not at any time, or not once:
He’s never been to Australia.
I’m never going back there again, not as long as I live.
It is never too late to give up smoking.
never had/did/was etc
Never had she been so confused.
never ever (=used to emphasize what you are saying)
I’ll never ever forgive him for leaving me.
Never again (=never after a particular time) would he return to Naples.
never in all my life (=used to emphasize how bad something was)
Never in all my life have I felt so humiliated.
never for one moment (=used to emphasize that you never thought something)
She had never for one moment imagined that it could happen to her.
somebody/something has never been known to do something (=used to say that something is strange because it has never happened before)
Max had never been known to leave home without telling anyone.
Do not use another negative word (eg 'not') with never. If you use 'not', use ever:
▪ She might never forgive you OR She might not ever forgive you (NOT She might not never forgive you).
2. you never know spoken used to say that something which seems unlikely may happen:
Try it! You never know, you might be lucky.
3. I never knew (that) spoken used to mean that you did not know something until now:
I never knew you played the guitar!
4. never so much as used to emphasize that someone did not do something, especially when this seems surprising:
I do everything for him, and he’s never so much as made me a cup of coffee.
5. that would/will never do spoken used to say that you would not want something to happen:
Someone might discover our secret and that would never do.
6. never! British English spoken used when you are very surprised by something:
‘They’re getting married next month.’ ‘Never!’
He’s never going to cycle all the way to Manchester!
Well I never! I wouldn’t have thought she was that old!
7. (no) I never! British English spoken used to say that you did not do something bad that someone has said you did. Many teachers think this is not correct English:
‘You cheated, didn’t you?’ ‘No, I never.’
8. never say never informal used to say that you should not say that you will never do something, because there is always a small possibility that you might do it
9. never say die used to encourage someone not to give up
10. never fear spoken old-fashioned used to tell someone not to worry:
She’ll be back, never fear.
⇨ never the twain shall meet at ↑twain(2)
• • •
▪ never not at any time, or not once: Ali had never seen snow before. | I’ll never forget that day.
▪ never ever spoken used to emphasize that you mean never: Do you promise never ever to tell anyone else about this?
▪ not once used to emphasize that you are surprised or annoyed because someone never did something: She’s never said thank you – not once. | Jo hasn’t emailed me once in six months.
▪ not/never for a moment used to emphasize that you never had a particular thought or idea: ‘Did you ever suspect he was cheating on you?’ ‘No, not for a moment.’ | Not for one moment did she think it was a trap.
▪ not/never in a million years spoken used to say that it is completely impossible that something could ever happen: Dad will never agree to that – not in a million years!
▪ at no time formal used to emphasize that something never happened: At no time did anyone suggest that the drug was dangerous. | At no time were the prisoners mistreated.
never adverb, exclamation [ˈnevə(r)] [ˈnevər]
1. not at any time; not on any occasion
• You never help me.
• He has never been abroad.
• ‘Would you vote for him?’ ‘Never.’
• ‘I work for a company called Orion Technology.’ ‘Never heard of them.’
• Never in all my life have I seen such a horrible thing.
• Never ever tell anyone your password.
2. used to emphasize a negative statement instead of ‘not’
• I never knew (= didn't know until now) you had a twin sister.
• I never realized just how easy it is.
• (especially BrE) Someone might find out, and that would never do (= that is not acceptable).
• He never so much as smiled (= did not smile even once).
• (especially BrE) ‘I told my boss exactly what I thought of her.’ ‘You never did!’ (= ‘Surely you didn't!’)
• (BrE, slang) ‘You took my bike.’ ‘No, I never.’
• (old-fashioned or humorous) Never fear (= Do not worry), everything will be all right.
Old English nǣfre, from ne ‘not’ + ǣfre ‘ever’.
Idioms: Well, I never! ▪ on the never-never
used to show that you are very surprised about sth because you do not believe it is possible
• ‘I got the job.’ ‘Never!’
see never mind at mind v.
[never] Old English nǣfre, from ne ‘not’ + ǣfre ‘ever’.
never / ˈnev.ə r / / -ɚ / adverb
A1 not at any time or not on any occasion:
We've never been to Australia.
I've never heard anything so ridiculous.
Let us never forget those who gave their lives for their country.
Wars never solve anything.
He threatened to shoot, but I never thought (= did not think) he would.
I never realized you knew my brother.
It's never too late to start eating a healthy diet.
UK informal "He's never 61! (= it's difficult to believe he's 61!) He looks so young."
UK not standard "You stole my drink!" "No, I never (= I didn't) ."
1) ADV-NEG: ADV before v, ADV group/to-inf Never means at no time in the past or at no time in the future.
I have never lost the weight I put on in my teens...
Never had he been so free of worry...
That was a mistake. We'll never do it again...
Never say that. Never, do you hear?...
He was never really healthy...
This is never to happen again.
2) ADV-NEG: ADV before v, ADV group/to-inf Never means `not in any circumstances at all'.
I would never do anything to hurt him...
Even if you are desperate to get married, never let it show...
Divorce is never easy for children...
The golden rule is never to clean a valuable coin.
3) PHRASE: PHR before v, be PHR group (emphasis) Never ever is an emphatic way of saying `never'.
I never, ever sit around thinking, `What shall I do next?'...
He's vowed never ever to talk about anything personal in public, ever again.
4) ADV-NEG Never is used to refer to the past and means `not'.
He never achieved anything...
He waited until all the luggage was cleared, but Paula's never appeared...
I never knew the lad...
I'd never have dreamt of doing such a thing.
5) EXCLAM (feelings) You say `never!' to indicate how surprised or shocked you are by something that someone has just said. [SPOKEN]
6) EXCLAM (feelings) You say `Well, I never' to indicate that you are very surprised about something that you have just seen or found out. [OLD-FASHIONED, SPOKEN]
`What were you up to there?' - `I was head of the information department.' - `Well I never!'
7) PHRASE: oft it PHR to-inf If you say that something will never do or would never do, you are saying, often humorously, that you think it is not appropriate or not suitable in some way.
It would never do to have Henry there in her apartment...
I don't think it is an example of bad writing myself, otherwise I'd be agreeing with Leavis, and that would never do.
8) never fear → see fear
never mind → see mind
nev·er /ˈnɛvɚ/ adv
1 : not ever : not at any time
• I will never shop at that store again.
• I have never seen that happen before.
• That man has never heard of you.
• We will never forget what we saw.
• You never know what you'll find at a flea market.
• I never meant to hurt you.
• She never really said that.
• There is never enough time to finish our work.
• Never in my whole life have I been so offended!
• A resume without a cover letter will never do. [=will never be considered acceptable]
• Never again will I buy a car from that dealer. = I will never again buy a car from that dealer.
• I gave him my business for years and never for one moment did I suspect that he was a criminal.
- opposite always
2 chiefly Brit
- used to express surprise, doubt, or disbelief
• “He's won the lottery.” “Never!”
• “They're getting married.” “Well, I never! [=I am very surprised or shocked to hear that they're getting married]”
- used to say that you did not do something
• “You stole my CD.” “Me? Never.”
- see ever
- used to tell someone not to worry or be afraid
• Never fear, I think I have a solution.
never mind, never you mind
- see 2mind
never say die
- see 1die
never say never
- used to say that you should not say that you will never do something because you might change your mind later
• “Would you ever go there again?” “Well, (I'll) never say never, but I'm certainly not planning to go there anytime soon!”
never so much as
- used to say that someone did not do something that was expected or should have been done
• She never so much as thanked me [=she did not even thank me] for my help.
never the wiser
- see 1wise