al·​ways | \ ˈȯl-wēz How to pronounce always (audio) , -wəz, -(ˌ)wāz How to pronounce always (audio) also ˈȯ- \

Definition of always

1 : at all times : invariably always smiling
2 : forever will love you always
3 : at any rate : in any event You can always try again if it doesn't work this time.

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Examples of always in a Sentence

He always tries, but he doesn't always succeed. It's always a pleasure to see you. I can always tell when he's upset. This area is always filled with tourists. Things won't always go as planned. You're always welcome to stay with us. He has always been a good friend to me. Life won't always be this easy. I always thought they'd get married some day, but they never did. Isn't that what you've always wanted?
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Recent Examples on the Web Clark said that in the past, elementary students have not always had the option of summer school. Samantha Davenport, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage School District bulks up summer school offerings after more students fell behind during pandemic," 15 Apr. 2021 That same reverence isn’t always found in the continental United States, but those who embrace Spam do so with pride. Washington Post, "Turn to your pantry for this colorful, crispy Spam and pineapple fried rice," 14 Apr. 2021 William Mason High School seniors have always graduated together at Xavier University's Cintas Center – that is, until last year, when students celebrated virtually, says district spokesperson Tracey Carson. Madeline Mitchell, The Enquirer, "Cue 'Pomp and Circumstance': The class of 2021 gears up for high school graduation," 14 Apr. 2021 Second, if the underlying vulnerabilities remain on a system, someone could always just plant another web shell. Brian Barrett, Wired, "The FBI Takes a Drastic Step to Fight China’s Hacking Spree," 14 Apr. 2021 As always, shipping and returns are also free on all orders. Arielle Tschinkel, USA TODAY, "Nordstrom dresses are at a major markdown for spring in every color and size," 14 Apr. 2021 But young people don’t always make the best decisions., "Decision expected on charges for Minnesota cop who fatally shot Daunte Wright," 14 Apr. 2021 The always intriguing Joseph Arthur has his own show to do at 8 p.m. Tickets via Gary Graff, cleveland, "BTS’ Bang Bang Con, Thriller Fight Club (with Justin Bieber, Black Keys & more) top this week’s streaming concerts," 14 Apr. 2021 Moscow's massive troop build-up on Ukraine's borders and China's probing of Taiwan's defenses may fit into this category -- and isolated North Korea always seeks to get a new commander in chief's attention. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "America's enemies line up to put Biden to the test," 14 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'always.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of always

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for always

Middle English alwayes, from alwey

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Time Traveler for always

Time Traveler

The first known use of always was before the 12th century

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Statistics for always

Last Updated

17 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Always.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for always



English Language Learners Definition of always

: at all times : on every occasion : in a way that does not change
: at all times in the past
: forever into the future


al·​ways | \ ˈȯl-wēz How to pronounce always (audio) , -wəz, -wāz \

Kids Definition of always

1 : at all times My dad always knows the answer.
2 : throughout all time : forever I'll remember it always.
3 : often, frequently, or repeatedly People always forget my name.

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Comments on always

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