Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Language: Old English
Origin: næfre, from ne- 'not' + æfre 'ever'

never

adverb
     
nev‧er S1 W1
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 (e.g. 'not') with never. Use ever with not: I've never seen her. | I haven't ever seen her.
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)

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