Definition of every in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɛvri/


1Used before a singular noun to refer to all the individual members of a set without exception: the hotel assures every guest of personal attention [with possessive determiner]: the children hung on his every word
More example sentences
  • He had no issue with that at all and that made it easier for every member of the family.
  • After a decade the group still have a few original members and gain new members every year.
  • We all agree that every society and every individual has the right to self defence.
1.1Used before an amount to indicate how often something happens: tours are every thirty minutes they had every third week off
More example sentences
  • The camp will run from Friday to Sunday and will return on the third weekend of every month.
  • On every third opening of the pages, there is a medallist now known to have cheated.
  • In some swims, on every third cast the weight would jam up on a hidden snag and we'd have to pull for a break.
1.2(Used for emphasis) all possible; the utmost: you have every reason to be disappointed
More example sentences
  • He said staff were now making every effort to encourage new applications for grants.
  • These children are our future and should be given every chance possible to succeed.
  • The Rotarians have agreed that every possible step should be taken to stop the work.
all possible, all probable, the utmost, as much as possible, as great as possible



every bit as

(In comparisons) quite as: the planning should be every bit as enjoyable as the event itself
More example sentences
  • At home, the government has pursued Tory policies every bit as ardently as the Tories would have done.
  • His musical legacy lives on thanks to dedicated fans of his style, many of whom play every bit as well as he ever did.
  • Buy the wrong kind of property in the wrong location and you will have picked every bit as bad a dog as any bombing share.

every inch

see inch1.

every last (or every single)

Used to emphasize that every member of a group is included: unbelievers, every last one of them
More example sentences
  • Because those rights are the rights of every single member of this United Kingdom.
  • She's frightened every single moment of every single day for herself and her family.
  • Practically every single thing said by every single character will make you laugh.

every man has his price

proverb Everyone is open to bribery if the inducement offered is large enough.
Example sentences
  • Last week he was appointed Senior manager there and it just goes to show that every man has his price.
  • I'm sure they have discovered it by now but aren't telling, but every man has his price.

every now and again (or now and then)

From time to time; occasionally: I used to see him every now and then
More example sentences
  • Only the occasional deadpan one liner leaks out every now and again.
  • Perhaps it's healthy to have a kick in the teeth like that every now and then.
  • The Chief Minister encouraged a little spoken of question that comes up every now and then.

every other (or every second)

Each alternate in a series: I train with weights every other day the auctions are held every second week
More example sentences
  • She has a fulltime job this year, but she trains once a day and twice every other day.
  • They are all for the odd shock, but not every other week, thank you very much.
  • It's like having my own brief personal horoscope appearing almost every other day for all to see.

every so often

From time to time; occasionally: every so often I need a laugh to stay sane
More example sentences
  • They'd stop by our place every so often to see if she is fine, and there will always be a stand-by car for her if she needs to go anywhere.
  • He has a habit of disappearing every so often… then he makes a great comeback.
  • Stir it every so often so it doesn't stick to the bottom, or, even worse - burn.

every time

Without exception: Maris Piper potatoes cook beautifully every time
More example sentences
  • We are going down the line of saying we cannot always send a police officer every time people ring in.
  • Phone each company every time as well and make sure you always speak to the same person.
  • There is a risk every time an engine goes out but only sending one is a gamble.

every which way

In all directions: my feet went every which way
More example sentences
  • Arms aloft, hips swaying, feet shuffling every which way, he was the talk of the dance floor at York's Gallery Nightclub.
  • All Sarah could see was feet running every which way, panicking.
  • Since the anger is usually directed every which way, it will soon exhaust itself.
9.1By all available means: since then he has tried every which way to avoid contact with his ex
More example sentences
  • In spite of the barrage of questions regarding development of airports in Kerala, all that he promised was to contribute to Kerala's development in every which way that he could.
  • Scotland took that on-field cool into the autumn test with Samoa, who used every which way to turn up their unique attacking heat but were fought off 18-11.
  • You can argue that every which way, and people do.


Old English ǣfre ǣlc (see ever, each).

  • An Old English word that is related to ever and each. Every occurs in two well-known proverbs. Every little helps has a rather rude origin. It appears to be from a 1590 work by the French writer Meurier, which translates as ‘Every little helps, said the ant, pissing into the sea.’ In the first English example, ten years later, the ant is replaced by a wren. Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost alludes to a chase by the Devil, in which the slowest will be caught.

For editors and proofreaders

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