Definition of never adverb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈnevə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈnevər//
    jump to other results
  1. 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. 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 British English) 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 British English) ‘I told my boss exactly what I thought of her.’ ‘You never did!’ (= ‘Surely you didn't!’) (British English, slang) ‘You took my bike.’ ‘No, I never.’ (old-fashioned or humorous) Never fear (= Do not worry), everything will be all right.
  3. Word OriginOld English nǣfre, from ne ‘not’ + ǣfre ‘ever’.Idioms (British English, informal) on hire purchase (= by making payments over a long period) to buy a new car on the never-never (old-fashioned) used to express surprise or disapproval Well, I never! Fancy getting married and not telling us!
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: never