Definition of often adverb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    often

     adverb
    adverb
    BrE BrE//ˈɒfn//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɔːfn//
     
    , NAmE//ˈɑːfn//
     
    ; BrE BrE//ˈɒftən//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɔːftən//
     
    , NAmE//ˈɑːftən//
     
     
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  1. 1  many times synonym frequently We often go there. I've often wondered what happened to him. How often do you go to the theatre? I see her quite often. Try to exercise as often as possible. We should meet for lunch more often. It is not often that you get such an opportunity.
  2. 2  in many cases synonym commonly Old houses are often damp. People are often afraid of things they don't understand. All too often the animals die through neglect. His success depended, as so often happens, on things entirely outside his control.
  3. Word Origin Middle English: extended form of oft, probably influenced by selden ‘seldom’. Early examples appear to be northern English; the word became general in the 16th cent.Extra examples How often does it happen? I’ve often wondered what he looked like. It’s not often that I receive fan letters. People often find it difficult to say goodbye. She likes to get out of the city as often as possible. She’s mean. Rich people very often are. The dog often went missing for days. Traffic has increased and the roads are all too often inadequate. You should come and see us more often.Idioms
    as often as not, more often than not
     
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    usually; in a way that is typical of somebody/something As often as not, he's late for work.
    occasionally; sometimes Every so often I heard a strange noise outside. used to say that somebody has done something wrong or stupid again, and this time they will suffer because of it You've tried that trick once too often.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: often