\ ˈē-vən \

Definition of even 

(Entry 1 of 4)

1a : having a horizontal surface : flat even ground

b : being without break, indentation, or irregularity : smooth

c : being in the same plane or line

2a : free from variation : uniform his disposition was even

b : level sense 4

3a : equal, fair an even exchange

b(1) : leaving nothing due on either side : square we will not be even until you repay my visit

(2) : fully revenged

c : being in equilibrium : balanced specifically : showing neither profit nor loss

d obsolete : candid

4a : being any of the integers (such as −2, 0, and +2) that are divisible by two without leaving a remainder

b : marked by an even number

c : being a mathematical function such that f(x) = f(−x) where the value remains unchanged if the sign of the independent variable is reversed

5 : exact, precise an even dollar

6 : as likely as not : fifty-fifty an even chance of winning

on an even keel or less commonly on even keel

: in a sound or stable condition



Definition of even (Entry 2 of 4)

1a used as an intensive to stress an extreme or highly unlikely condition or instance so simple even a child can do it

b used as an intensive to stress the comparative degree she did even better

c used as an intensive to indicate a small or minimum amount didn't even try

d used as an intensive to emphasize the identity or character of something forgot his car keys and even left the engine running

2a : to a degree that extends : fully, quite faithful even unto death

b : at the very time raining even as the sun came out

c : exactly, precisely


evened; evening\ˈēv-niŋ, ˈē-və- \

Definition of even (Entry 3 of 4)

transitive verb

: to make even

intransitive verb

: to become even



Definition of even (Entry 4 of 4)


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Other words from even


evenly adverb
evenness \ˈē-vən-nəs \ noun


evener \ˈēv-nər, ˈē-və- \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for even


level, flat, plane, even, smooth mean having a surface without bends, curves, or irregularities. level applies to a horizontal surface that lies on a line parallel with the horizon. the vast prairies are nearly level flat applies to a surface devoid of noticeable curvatures, prominences, or depressions. the work surface must be flat plane applies to any real or imaginary flat surface in which a straight line between any two points on it lies wholly within that surface. the plane sides of a crystal even applies to a surface that is noticeably flat or level or to a line that is observably straight. trim the hedge so it is even smooth applies especially to a polished surface free of irregularities. a smooth skating rink

steady, even, equable mean not varying throughout a course or extent. steady implies lack of fluctuation or interruption of movement. steady progress even suggests a lack of variation in quality or character. an even distribution equable implies lack of extremes or of sudden sharp changes. maintain an equable temper

Examples of even in a Sentence


We finally reached even ground after the long climb. They slowed down and waited for him to draw even. She spoke with a calm, even voice. the even beat of the drum


the blue whale is a huge, even awesome animal by any measure I will love you even to the end of time.


even the filling before adding the top layer of the cake the contention that producing more arms will even us with the enemy and therefore make us more secure
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

No one knows which marketing genius first started shaving off a penny or a dollar from an even price point. Adam Snitzer, miamiherald, "Why 9 is my favorite number," 12 July 2018 But there is another world even deeper out in the Solar System that some scientists think may provide an even juicer target, Saturn’s moon Enceladus. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Senior scientist argues that we should bypass Europa for Enceladus," 5 July 2018 The delay for one player lasted four minutes, and that is a lesson for even children who play. Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, "Neymar 'Deserves an Oscar': Twitter Mocks Brazilian Soccer Star's Reaction to Ankle Injury," 3 July 2018 That said, the shows’ panels were a far more even mix, with eight men (one of whom is Hispanic) and eight women (two of whom are Hispanic) making up the guest list. Richard Prince, The Root, "Obama Was More Aware of Racism Than We Saw," 27 June 2018 Democrats hope the new map, drawn by the justices and meant to provide an even playing field, will allow them to pick up several seats in the U.S. House. Thomas Fitzgerald, Philly.com, "Pa. primary election 2018: Voters guide," 11 May 2018 If McConnell’s warning was not clear enough, Marc Short, the White House’s legislative liaison, used the dinner to offer an even starker assessment. Kevin Freking, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump takes aim at familiar targets at Michigan rally," 28 Apr. 2018 If McConnell's warning was not clear enough, Marc Short, the White House's legislative liaison, used the dinner to offer an even starker assessment. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump dismisses midterm threat, alarming GOP," 28 Apr. 2018 After 2016 proved to be the year of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton, the 2017 Tony Awards appear to be more of an even playing field, but that isn't to say some productions have more skin in the game than others. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812," 2 May 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

The move is part of Chief Executive Officer Dan Schulman’s effort to transform PayPal from a payments button on websites into a versatile financial tool for everyday use, even in brick-and-mortar stores. Fortune, "Venezuela Offers $5 Million to Aid Harvey Victims Via Citgo," 31 Aug. 2017 Even with our world's recent surge towards promoting self-love and self-acceptance, posting a selfie on Instagram can still feel like a high-wire act. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "Gabrielle Union Just Celebrated Her Freckled Skin With a No-Makeup Selfie," 30 Aug. 2017 Even at night the heat is smothering, and a halo of bugs swirls around headlamps as the team motorboats down waterways or stalks the animals from shore. Mitch Leslie, Science | AAAS, "Something is changing the sex of Costa Rican crocodiles," 30 Aug. 2017 As a practical matter, the only way state Democratic parties can get rid of closed primaries without the cooperation of state governments is to adopt even-less-democratic caucuses, where small elites really do call the shots. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Vote-Rigging Suit Against DNC Dropped, Mostly Because The DNC Can’t Rig Much of Anything," 30 Aug. 2017 But the comments tell another story with people attacking the parents' decision and even all tattoos in general. Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "Woman Arrested for Letting 12-Year-Old Daughter Get A Tattoo," 30 Aug. 2017 Risky or even thoughtless behavior could land you in the ER. Rosemarie Stein, OregonLive.com, "Portland Metro Wednesday Weather: A break from the smoke for today; cloudy and cooler," 30 Aug. 2017 Even on a stressful day, they are guaranteed to put a smile on my face within seconds. Michael Benninger, Pacific San Diego Magazine, "Meet your bartender: Zack Ball," 29 Aug. 2017 Even though Florida enjoyed record visitor arrivals during the first half of 2017, tourism professionals know the job of attracting new and repeat visitors is an ongoing effort. Arlene Satchell, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Hollywood's Diplomat resort hosts Florida Governor's Conference on Tourism Tuesday," 29 Aug. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

According to recent data from the U.S. State Department, the number of male versus female adoptees from China has evened out, compared to a decade ago when the vast majority of adoptees from China were female (84.8 percent in 2007). NBC News, "Staying connected: Why these nine adoptees from China reunite annually," 11 July 2018 They are headed on the road and, two games in, this best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal is now evened up. David Murphy, Philly.com, "Ben Simmons' performance a silver lining in Sixers' Game 2 loss | David Murphy," 17 Apr. 2018 Portugal threatened on counterattacks as Spain struggled to get near Rui Patricio’s goal, but a great long pass by Sergio Busquets allowed Costa to even the match. Tales Azzoni, chicagotribune.com, "Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat trick highlights Portugal’s 3-3 tie with Spain," 15 June 2018 Portugal threatened on counterattacks as Spain struggled to get near Rui Patricio’s goal, but a great long pass by Sergio Busquets allowed Costa to even the match. BostonGlobe.com, "Ronaldo’s hat trick gives Portugal a tie with Spain," 15 June 2018 Every time the Warriors jumped out to seven– and eight–point leads and Oracle began to sound like the inside of a jet engine, LeBron and the Cavs calmly fought their way back into it and somehow evened things up. Andrew Sharp, SI.com, "An Inexplicable Calls Stains a Legendary NBA Finals Thriller," 1 June 2018 Francisco Liriano allowed five runs in the first inning but the Tigers chipped away and evened the score in the seventh. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Francisco Liriano's trade value plummets in Detroit Tigers 10-9 loss," 9 July 2018 Honda came on the field a minute later and evened the score. Karel Janicek, chicagotribune.com, "Keisuke Honda goal gives Japan a 2-2 draw with Senegal at World Cup," 24 June 2018 Hoese again scored Artigues in the bottom of the eighth with a with a single up the middle that evened the score at 2-2. Amos Morale Iii, NOLA.com, "Tulane has chances but falls, 5-2, to Louisiana-Lafayette in extra innings," 13 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'even.' 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 even


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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2c


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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for even


Middle English, from Old English efen; akin to Old High German eban even


Middle English, from Old English efne, from efen, adjective


Middle English even, eve, from Old English ǣfen

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Dictionary Entries near even



Eve method



even as

even break

Statistics for even

Last Updated

6 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for even

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

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More Definitions for even



English Language Learners Definition of even

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: having a flat, smooth, or level surface

: not having breaks or bumps

: located next to someone or something else



English Language Learners Definition of even (Entry 2 of 3)

—used to stress something that is surprising or unlikely

—used to stress the difference between two things that are being compared

—used after a negative word (such as not or a contraction of not ) to stress the smallness of an amount or effort



English Language Learners Definition of even (Entry 3 of 3)

: to make (something) equal


\ ˈē-vən \

Kids Definition of even

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : having a flat, smooth, or level surface even ground

2 : being on the same line or level Water is even with the rim of a glass.

3 : staying the same over a period of time even breathing

4 : equal in size, number, or amount The bread was cut in even slices.

5 : not giving an advantage to one side : fair an even trade

6 : able to be divided by two into two equal whole numbers Fourteen is even, but fifteen is odd.

Other words from even

evenly adverb
evenness noun



Kids Definition of even (Entry 2 of 3)

1 used to stress a highly unlikely condition or instance even his mustache looked more cheerful. —Lloyd Alexander, Time Cat

2 : to a greater extent or degree : still even better

3 : so much as She didn't even offer to help.

4 : indeed We were willing, even eager, to help.

5 : at the very time It's happening even as we speak.


evened; evening

Kids Definition of even (Entry 3 of 3)

: to make or become smooth or equal I evened out the rug. That point evens the score.

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More from Merriam-Webster on even

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for even

Spanish Central: Translation of even

Nglish: Translation of even for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of even for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about even

Comments on even

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a magnificent or impressive array

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