Meaning of EVEN in English

I. e ‧ ven 1 S1 W1 /ˈiːv ə n/ BrE AmE adverb

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: efne , from efen ; ⇨ ↑ even 2 ]

1 . used to emphasize something that is unexpected or surprising in what you are saying:

Most companies have suffered a drop in their profits, even very large companies.

It was quite difficult to see, even with the light on.

He became quite successful and even appeared on a television show once.

She did not even bother to phone us.

He never even acknowledged my letter.

2 . even bigger/better/brighter etc used to emphasize that someone or something is bigger, better etc:

This will make our job even more difficult.

The news was even worse than we expected.

The new version is even better than the old one.

3 . used to add a stronger, more exact word to what you are saying:

Some patients become depressed, even suicidal.

4 . even so spoken used to introduce something that is true although it is different from something that you have just said:

I know he’s only a child, but even so he should have known that what he was doing was wrong.

5 . even if used to emphasize that something will still be true if another thing happens:

She’s going to have problems finding a job even if she gets her A levels.

6 . even though used to emphasize that something is true although something else has happened or is true:

Even though he’s 24 now, he’s still like a little child.

I can still remember, even though it was so long ago.

7 . even now/then in spite of what has happened:

Even now I find it hard to believe that he lied.

They invested in new machinery and equipment, but even then the business was still losing money.

8 . even as used to emphasize that something happens at the same moment as something else:

He realized, even as he spoke, that no one would ever believe him.

• • •


Even usually goes before the word or phrase that you want to emphasize because it is surprising:

Even young students were aware of how things had changed.

There is wildlife even in the centre of town.

With a verb, even goes after the first auxiliary, if there is one:

I have even offered to pay for everything.

He can’t even spell his own name.

Even is not used to introduce another clause. Use even if , even though , or even when :

Even if it’s raining (NOT Even it’s raining), we go for a walk every day.

They feel anxious even when things are going well.

► You can use still in a main clause after a clause beginning with one of these expressions, but do not use 'but' or 'yet':

Even though we’re completely different, we’re still great friends (NOT but/yet we’re great friends).

II. even 2 BrE AmE adjective

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: efen ]

1 . LEVEL flat and level, with no parts that are higher than other parts OPP uneven :

The floor must be completely even before we lay the tiles.

You need a flat, even surface to work on.

He had lovely white, even teeth.

2 . NOT CHANGING an even rate, speed, or temperature is steady and does not change:

The room is kept at an even temperature.

Wood burns at a fairly even rate.

3 . DIVIDED EQUALLY divided equally, so that there is the same amount of something in each place, for each person etc:

Divide the dough into three even amounts.

an even distribution of wealth

4 . NUMBER an even number can be divided exactly by two OPP odd :

2, 4, 6 and 8 are even numbers.

5 . COMPETITION having teams or competitors that are equally good so that everyone has a chance of winning:

The first half was very even, and neither side scored.

an even contest

6 . SCORES if the score in a game is even, two teams or players have the same number of points:

At the end of the first half the score is even.

7 . be even informal to no longer owe someone something, especially money:

If you give me $5, we’ll be even.

8 . CALM calm and controlled, and not extreme:

He read most of the speech in an even tone.

9 . an even chance a situation in which it is just as likely that something will happen as not happen:

I think we have an even chance of winning.

We knew there was an even chance that the operation would fail.

10 . get even (with somebody) informal to do something unpleasant to someone to punish them for something that they did to you SYN get revenge (on somebody) :

I’ll get even with him one day.

11 . break even to neither make a profit nor lose money:

We’re hoping that we’ll at least break even, and perhaps make a small profit.

⇨ ↑ even-tempered

—evenness noun [uncountable]

• • •


▪ flat on one level, without any holes or raised areas, and not sloping or curving:

a flat roof


a flat screen


Before you lay the tiles, make sure that the ground is completely flat.

▪ level not sloping in any direction, so that every part is at the same height:

Is the top of this picture level?


After four hours coming down the mountain, I was glad to be back on level ground.

▪ smooth without any holes or raised areas – used especially when saying how something feels when you touch it:

her lovely smooth skin


I ran my hand across the animal’s smooth fur.

▪ even without any holes or raised areas:

Apply the paint to an even surface.


Be careful – the path is not very even here.

▪ horizontal going straight across and not sloping:

a horizontal line


Raise both arms to a horizontal position.

III. even 3 BrE AmE verb

even out phrasal verb

if things even out, or if you even them out, the differences between them become smaller SYN level out :

The differences in their income should even out over time.

even something ↔ out

Use a brush to even out the variations in colour.

even something ↔ up phrasal verb

to make a situation or competition more equal:

We put on a couple of more experienced players to even things up a bit.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.