Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of even
Meaning of even by Wiktionary Dictionary



    • ( UK ) IPA: /ˈiːvən/, X-SAMPA: /"i:v@n/
    • ( US ) IPA: /ˈivən/, /ˈivn̩/, X-SAMPA: /"iv@n/, /"ivn=/
    • Rhymes: -iːvən
    • Hyphenation: e‧ven

    Etymology 1

    From Middle English, from Old English efen, efn, emn ( “even, equal, like, level, just, impartial, true” ), from Proto-Germanic *ebnaz ( “flat, level, even; equal, straight” ), from Proto-Indo-European *( h₁ )emno- ( “equal, straight; flat, level, even” ). Cognate with West Frisian even ( “even” ), Dutch even ( “even, equal, same” ), German eben ( “even, flat, level” ), Danish jævn ( “even, flat, smooth” ), Swedish jämn ( “even, level, smooth” ), Icelandic jafn, jamn ( “even, equal” ), Old Cornish eun ( “equal, right” ) ( attested in Vocabularium Cornicum eun-hinsic ( “iustus, i. e., just” ) ), Old Breton eun ( “equal, right” ) ( attested in Eutychius Glossary eunt ( “aequus, i. e., equal” ) ), Middle Breton effn, Breton eeun, Sanskrit अस्नस् ( amnás, “( adverb ) just, just now; at once” ) .

    The traditional proposal connecting the Germanic adjective with the root Proto-Indo-European *( H )aim-, *h₂eim-, *( H )iem- ( “similarity, resemblance” ) ( Latin imāgō ( “picture, image, likeness, copy” ), Latin aemulus ( “competitor, rival” ), Sanskrit यमस् ( yamás, “pair, twin” ) ) is problematic from a phonological point of view.[1]


    even ( comparative more even, superlative most even )

    1. Flat and level .
      Clear out those rocks. The surface must be even .
    2. Without great variation .
      Despite her fear, she spoke in an even voice .
    3. Equal in proportion, quantity, size, etc .
      The distribution of food must be even .
    4. ( not comparable, of an integer ) Divisible by two .
      Four, fourteen and forty are even numbers .
    5. ( of a number ) Convenient for rounding other numbers to; for example, ending in a zero.
    6. On equal monetary terms; neither owing or being owed .
    7. ( colloquial ) On equal terms of a moral sort; quits .
      You biffed me back at the barn, and I biffed you here—so now we're even .
    Usage notes
    Derived terms

    See also

    1. ^ Schaffner, Stefan ( 2000 ). “Altindisch amnás, urgermanisch *eƀna-, kelt. *eμno-.” In: Indoarisch, Iranisch und die Indogermanistik. Akten des Kolloquiums der Indogermanischen Gesellschaft vom 2. bis 5. Oktober 1997 in Erlangen, Forssman, Bernhard & Plath, Robert ( eds. ), Wiesbaden, pp. 491–505. In German .

    Etymology 2

    Old English efen


    even ( not comparable )

    1. ( archaic ) exactly, just, fully
      I fulfilled my instructions even as I had promised .
      You are leaving tonight? — Even so .
      This is my commandment, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you .
    2. Implying an extreme example in the case mentioned, as compared to the implied reality
      Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn sometimes .
      Did you even make it through the front door?
      That was before I was even born .
    3. Emphasizing a comparative
      I was strong before; but now I am even stronger .
    Derived terms

    Etymology 3

    Old English ǣfen. Cognate with Dutch avond, German Abend .


    even ( plural: evens )

    1. ( archaic or poetic ) Evening.
    Derived terms




    By Wiktionary ( 2012/02/06 16:09 UTC Version )


    From Middle English even-, efen-, from Old English efen- ( “equal, fellow-, co-” ), from efen ( “equal, even, level” ). More at even. Cognate with Scots evin- ( “equal-” ), Old Frisian ivin-, evn- ( “even-” ), Old High German eban- ( “even-” ) .



    1. ( rare, dialectal or no longer productive ) Prefix occurring mostly in older terms, bearing the meaning of equal-, co-, fellow-, joint- .
      even-bishop, even-christian, even-servant

    Derived terms

    [+] English words prefixed with even-

Explanation of even by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. make even or more even

    2. become even or more even

    3. even out the surface
    4. make level or straight

    1. used as an intensive especially to indicate something unexpected

    2. even an idiot knows that
      declined even to consider the idea
      I don't have even a dollar!
    3. to a greater degree or extent

    4. looked sick and felt even worse
      an even ( or still ) more interesting problem
    5. in spite of

    6. even when he is sick, he works
      even with his head start she caught up with him
    7. to the full extent

    8. loyal even unto death
    1. equal in degree or extent or amount

    2. even amounts of butter and sugar
      on even terms
      it was a fifty-fifty ( or even ) split
      had a fifty-fifty ( or even ) chance
      an even fight
    3. of the score in a contest

    4. being level or straight or regular and without variation as e.g. in shape or texture

    5. an even application of varnish
      an even floor
      the road was not very even
      the picture is even with the window
    6. divisible by two

    7. occurring at fixed intervals

    8. the even rhythm of his breathing
    9. symmetrically arranged

    10. even features
    1. the latter part of the day ( the period of decreasing daylight from late afternoon until nightfall )

    2. he enjoyed the evening light across the lake

    Definition of even by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Even ( ēv'n ) n. [OE. eve, even, efen, æfen. AS. ǣfen; akin to OS. āband, OFries, āvend, D. avond, OHG. āband, Icel. aptan, Sw. afton, Dan. aften; of unknown origin. Cf. Eve, Evening.] Evening. See Eve, n. 1. [Poetic.] Shak.

    2. Even, a. [AS. efen. efn; akin to OS. eban, D. even, OHG. eban, G. efen, Icel. jafn, Dan. jevn, Sw. jämn, Goth. ibns. Cf. Anent, Ebb.]
      1. Level, smooth, or equal in surface; not rough; free from irregularities; hence uniform in rate of motion of action; as, “even ground; an even speed; an even course of conduct.”

      2. Equable; not easily ruffled or disturbed; calm; uniformly self-possessed; as, “an even temper”.

      3. Parallel; on a level; reaching the same limit.

      And shall lay thee even with the ground. Luke xix. 44.

      4. Balanced; adjusted; fair; equitable; impartial; just to both sides; owing nothing on either side; -- said of accounts, bargains, or persons indebted; as, “our accounts are even; an even bargain.”

      To make the even truth in pleasure flow. Shak.

      5. Without an irregularity, flaw, or blemish; pure. “I know my life so even.” Shak.

      6. Associate; fellow; of the same condition. [Obs.] “His even servant.” Wyclif ( Matt. xviii. 29 ).

      7. Not odd; capable of division by two without a remainder; -- said of numbers; as, “4 and 10 are even numbers”.

      Whether the number of the stars is even or odd. Jer. Taylor.

      On even ground, with equal advantage. -- On even keel ( Naut. ), in a level or horizontal position.

    3. Even v. t. [imp. & p. p. Evened ; p. pr. & vb. n. Evening ]
      1. To make even or level; to level; to lay smooth.

      His temple Xerxes evened with the soil. Sir. W. Raleigh.

      It will even all inequalities Evelyn.

      2. To equal. [Obs.] “To even him in valor.” Fuller.

      3. To place in an equal state, as to obligation, or in a state in which nothing is due on either side; to balance, as accounts; to make quits; to make equal; as, “to even the score”. Shak.

      4. To set right; to complete.

      5. To act up to; to keep pace with. Shak.

    4. Even v. i. To be equal. [Obs.] R. Carew.

    5. Even, adv. [AS. efne. See Even, a., and cf. E'en.]
      1. In an equal or precisely similar manner; equally; precisely; just; likewise; as well. “Is it even so?” Shak.

      Even so did these Gauls possess the coast. Spenser.

      2. Up to, or down to, an unusual measure or level; so much as; fully; quite.

      Thou wast a soldier

      Even to Cato's wish. Shak.

      Without . . . making us even sensible of the change. Swift.

      3. As might not be expected; -- serving to introduce what is unexpected or less expected.

      I have made several discoveries, which appear new, even to those who are versed in critical learning. Addison.

      4. At the very time; in the very case.

      I knew they were bad enough to please, even when I wrote them. Dryden.

      ☞ Even is sometimes used to emphasize a word or phrase. “I have debated even in my soul.” Shak.

      By these presence, even the presence of Lord Mortimer. Shak.