Definition of always in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈôlˌwāz/
( archaic alway)


1At all times; on all occasions: the sun always rises in the east
More example sentences
  • This annual dinner for the committee and their friends is always an enjoyable occasion.
  • Over the years it seemed to become a household name and the event is always an occasion to look forward to.
  • This is always a lovely community occasion and a large attendance is anticipated.
every time, each time, at all times, all the time, without fail, consistently, invariably, regularly, habitually, unfailingly
1.1Throughout a long period of the past: she had always been an obstinate sort
More example sentences
  • Throughout this period, there had always been a minority of rebels who challenged the rule of the clock.
  • In the past, I've always known every summer what I'm going to be doing the following season.
  • Ms Benson said that their phone lines were always quiet in the period coming up to Christmas.
1.2For all future time; forever: she will always be missed
More example sentences
  • It will never be over in my heart though because she will always be there, forever and ever.
  • Similarly, you get the feeling that speech recognition is the technology of the future and always will be.
  • We should always act in such a way to make certain there will always be a human future.
forever, for always, for good (and all), forevermore, for ever and ever, until the end of time, eternally, for eternity, until hell freezes over
informal for keeps, until the cows come home
archaic for aye
1.3Repeatedly and annoyingly: she is always making derogatory remarks
More example sentences
  • Then there was the obligatory annoying kid that you always get in these movies.
  • I suppose some would call it a woman's book which always sounds a bit derogatory to me.
  • I loved Halloween but the costume selection part of it was always the most annoying.
continually, continuously, constantly, forever, perpetually, incessantly, ceaselessly, unceasingly, endlessly, the entire time
informal 24-7
2As a last resort; failing all else: if the marriage doesn’t work out, we can always get divorced
More example sentences
  • As a last resort you could always throw out the computer, but could you survive without eBay?
  • Failing this there is always the marvellous views of the French Alps to look forward to.
  • I think separation seems a bit more straightforward than a divorce and we can always get one at a later stage.
as a last resort, no matter what, in any event, in any case, come what may


Middle English: genitive case of all way, the inflection probably giving the sense 'at every time' as opposed to 'at one uninterrupted time'; the difference between the two is no longer distinct.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: al·ways

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