Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1200-1300
Origin: oft

often

adverb
     
of‧ten S1 W1
1 if something happens often, it happens regularly or many times [= frequently]:
She often works at the weekend.
If you wash your hair too often, it can get too dry.
How often do you see your parents?
quite/very often
I quite often go to Paris on business.
Robin is a difficult child; you've said so yourself often enough (=a lot of times).
it is not often (that)
It's not often that a government minister will admit to being wrong.
2 if something happens often, it happens in many situations or cases:
It's often difficult to translate poetry.
very/quite often
Very often children who behave badly at school have problems at home.
3

all too often

also only too often used to say that something sad, disappointing, or annoying happens too much:
All too often doctors are too busy to explain the treatment to their patients.
This type of accident happens only too often.
4

every so often

sometimes:
An inspector comes round every so often to check the safety equipment.
5

as often as not

also more often than not spoken usually:
More often than not the train is late.

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