Meaning of EVEN in English


I. ˈēvən noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English even, eve, from Old English ǣfen; akin to Old Frisian ēvend evening, Old Saxon āƀand, Old High German āband, Old Norse aptann evening, and perhaps to Greek epi on — more at epi-

1. archaic : evening

2. archaic : eve I 2

II. adjective

( sometimes -er/-est )

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English efen; akin to Old Frisian even even, equal, Old Saxon eƀan, Old High German eban, Old Norse jafn, Gothic ibns



(1) : having a horizontal surface : not sloping : flat , level

toiling up the mountain they at last came to even ground

(2) : being without gross deviation from a geometrical plane

pneumatic hammers … work across the … block, producing a rough but even surface — American Guide Series: Vermont

b. : being without break, indentation, roughness, or other irregularity : smooth , continuous

the coastline was always even and unbroken — Valter Schytt

c. : being in the same plane or line : level , parallel — used chiefly with with

the man came even with the corner — Robert Murphy

houses even with each other

that great wind had laid the tree even with the ground



(1) : being without variation or fluctuation : regular , smooth , equal , steady , uniform

even distances apart

the even motion of the airplane

the even beat of raindrops on the roof

his straight nose and clear even features went well with his blondness — Louis Auchincloss

(2) : uniform or consistent in character or quality

the darkling sky was of an even slate color

the texture of his writing is even and finished — Times Literary Supplement

(3) : level 5

b. : not easily disturbed : serene , unruffled , calm , placid

the child … was naturally of an even temper — Samuel Butler †1902

the even tenor of his life

speaks in a thoughtful, even voice — Stuart Keate


a. obsolete : straightforward , plain , direct

b. : equal in quality, opportunity, or station

they started out even , since neither had had any playing experience

c. : giving no advantage to either side

an even exchange

the even balance of its interests — F.L.Paxson

: fair , impartial , just


(1) : leaving nothing due on either side : square , quits

we shall not be even till you repay my visit

(2) : fully revenged — often used in the phrase get even with

get even with his tormentor

e. : being in equilibrium : balanced

the scales hang even

specifically : being neither loser nor gainer : showing neither profit nor loss

the firm has to do an enormous business in order to stay even — Harold Koontz & Cyril O'Donnell

4. : equal in size, number, or quantity

even shares


a. : being any member of a sequence of positive integers beginning with two and counting by twos : being always exactly divisible by 2 — opposed to odd

b. : having an even number as one of a series

an even page in a book

an even -pinnate leaf

c. : containing an even number of individuals

analyzing a committee chairman's tie-breaking function … we see that … in an even committee he is never pivotal — L.S.Shapley & Martin Shubik

6. : having neither more nor less than the named or understood amount, extent, or number : exact

an even mile

an even dollar

7. : as likely as not : nicely balanced : fifty-fifty

it is at least an even chance that he will prosper

he stands an even chance of winning

the chances of success or failure are even

Synonyms: see level , steady

- at even hand

- of even date

- on even keel

III. ˈēvən or except in sense 1b ˈēv ə m or ˈēb ə m adverb

Etymology: Middle English evene, even, from Old English efne, from efen, adjective


a. obsolete : without disagreement : in accord

b. knitting : without change by increasing or decreasing — used chiefly in the phrase work even

work even until armhole measures same as back armhole — National Needlecraft Bureau


a. : as well : precisely , just , exactly

even as you and I, children need warmth and affection

some can appreciate character even as other men — Nora Waln

b. : to a degree that extends : fully , quite

even to the shedding of some natural tears — William Wordsworth

to be faithful even unto death

c. : at the very time : already

even as the fish's head fell from the crocodile's munching mouth there was a swoop of white wings — Francis Birtles

perhaps even now the time has arrived — Walt Whitman

d. archaic : to be sure


a. : truly , indeed , nay — used as an intensive that serves to emphasize the identity or character of something

we, even we, henceforth flaunt out masterful — Walt Whitman

a huge, even monstrous animal

b. — used as an intensive serving to indicate an extreme, hypothetical, or unlikely case or instance of something

corruption is so diffused that no one even protests — Gilbert Seldes

refused even to look at her

even if help comes, it will be too late

ravaged it even to the precious library and family Bible — American Guide Series: North Carolina

c. — used as an intensive serving to stress the comparative degree

did even better under the new coach

emeralds are even scarcer than rubies

4. : in an even manner

IV. ˈēvən verb

( evened ; evened ; evening ˈēv(ə)niŋ ; evens )

Etymology: Middle English evenen, from Old English efnan, from efen, adjective

transitive verb


a. : to make (a surface) smooth or even

even out the soil with a spade

b. : to make regular or uniform : free of fluctuations : stabilize — often used with out

giant reservoirs … even out the flow of the river by controlling floods in winter and releasing water in dry periods — G.R.Clapp

even out the activities of the construction industry … providing a reasonable level of construction throughout the year — Beardsley Ruml

2. archaic

a. : to regard as being on the same level : treat as equal : compare

b. : to come up to : match , rival

c. : to bring down to a certain level

3. dialect Britain : ascribe , impute

4. : to make even in advantage : make (accounts or some other reckoning) balanced : make quits

things are evened up in this world — Irish Digest

his mind … is suggestible to suspicious jealousy, and he cannot cease until he is evened with the Moor wife for wife — College English

intransitive verb

: to be or become even

odds have probably evened somewhat between us and the Russians in the air-atomic field — R.W.Frase

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.