\ ˈē-vən How to pronounce even (audio) \

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
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


evened; evening\ ˈēv-​niŋ How to pronounce even (audio) , 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 How to pronounce even (audio) \ noun


evener \ ˈēv-​nər How to pronounce even (audio) , ˈē-​və-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for even

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Adverb

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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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

Adjective 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 Adverb the blue whale is a huge, even awesome animal by any measure I will love you even to the end of time. Verb 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 In New Jersey, the even-day average has been worse than the 14-day average since March 11. Melanie Grayce West, WSJ, "New Yorkers Age 30 and Up Can Get Covid-19 Vaccines Starting Tuesday," 30 Mar. 2021 Use twine attached to the trunk of a tree to provide a guide in order to create an even circle around the trunk — the longer the length of twine, the bigger the tree ring will be, so adjust according to your needs. Tim Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Start off gardening season reworking bed edges with help from a garden hose, rope or spade," 27 Mar. 2021 Hulu’s library gives you access to popular shows, such as The Bachelor, The Handmaiden's Tale and even movies such as Dead Poets Society, Footloose and more. Nishka Dhawan, USA TODAY, "Disney+ too pricey? Check out the deals on these other streaming services," 27 Mar. 2021 Building on a one-under-par opening day score of 28 points, Hawks’ freshman Benjamin Siriboury posted an even-par score of 27 points Wednesday at Fairway Hills. Jacob Calvin Meyer, baltimoresun.com, "Howard volleyball maintains momentum with win over Centennial | Howard County sports roundup," 17 Mar. 2021 Next, cover the wallpaper with an even coat of primer. Tamara Gane, Southern Living, "Can You Paint Over Wallpaper?," 17 Mar. 2021 There were no smartphones or social media, and a missing traveler could go unchecked for weeks, maybe even months. Julia Hollingsworth And Adam Renton, CNN, "From diplomat to detective, this man helped bring Asia's notorious 'Serpent' killer to justice," 13 Mar. 2021 At 5 on 5, the Stars were dominant, allowing just two even-strength shots on goal in the first two periods. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, "Dallas Stars have held their own at 5 on 5, but special teams has been another story," 11 Mar. 2021 Connecticut’s home sale market, which struggled for more than a decade to regain its footings, heated up in the COVID-19 pandemic, with even purchases of high-end homes more often finding a seat at the closing table in 2020. Russell Blair, courant.com, "These are the 10 most expensive homes sold in Connecticut in 2020 — and they weren’t all in Fairfield County," 11 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Now, future profitability is even more in question after Uber Technologies recently lost a U.K. court case that led to a landmark reclassification of its ride-hailing drivers as workers, entitling them to benefits such as vacation pay and pensions. Laura Forman, WSJ, "Food-Delivery Investors Are Overstuffed," 3 Apr. 2021 March isn’t even in the top 100 months of highest job growth in the last seventy years. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, "1 million US jobs a month aren’t enough," 2 Apr. 2021 In a way, seeing Lexie and Mark side by side in the afterlife, or even just in Meredith’s imagination, is the happy ending these characters deserved. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, "Grey's Anatomy Reunited Mark and Lexie, and Fans Are Emotional," 2 Apr. 2021 Workers are pitted against one another in games and competitions on the warehouse floor, and people last such a short time that organizing, even in a former union town, is difficult. Sarah Leonard, The New Republic, "How Amazon Exploited a Weakened America," 2 Apr. 2021 Craige Couture, police chief for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, said the plan will eventually extend to address cases that occur beyond tribal land and even in other states. Michael Balsamo, Anchorage Daily News, "Justice Department working with tribes on missing and murdered Indigenous women," 2 Apr. 2021 Arlington has a message for residents: co-existing with wildlife is just part of life, even in the city. Sarah Bahari, Dallas News, "Track wildlife sightings in Arlington with these online maps," 2 Apr. 2021 This book really did help me remember that a reset every so often helps to ground us, even in unwanted isolation. Star Tribune, "Quarantine Read: Reader recommends 'Alone' by Richard E. Byrd," 2 Apr. 2021 On its first day of trading, the stock also jumped 36% in a sign that investors believe in its prospects even in a post-pandemic future. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "Compass’ IPO takes a cut," 1 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb To try to even out the disparate heat between the edges and center of foods baked in glass, try dropping the oven temperature by 25 degrees and baking longer. Washington Post, "Metal or glass for baking? Let’s clear a few things up.," 22 Mar. 2021 Things began to even out during the year’s second half. Milton Ezrati, Forbes, "States And Cities Make A Financial Killing," 11 Mar. 2021 But like coal, gas can provide steady electricity, helping to even out the variability of solar and wind power. Mike Hughlett, Star Tribune, "Xcel, environmentalists square off over planned gas-fired power plant," 6 Mar. 2021 Scores for applicants with such experiences should get a boost to even out the impact those circumstances may have had on their GPA, for instance. The Salt Lake Tribune, "BYU released a report saying its students of color feel ‘isolated and unsafe’ due to racism on campus," 27 Feb. 2021 The gentle abrasives rated for teeth are safe enough to even out the surface without risking any further damage. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "How to Remove Scratches From Glass," 12 Feb. 2021 Some form of this provision has been permitted by the U.S. tax code for over a century to help businesses that face ups and downs to even out their taxes. Author: Douglas Macmillan, Kevin Schaul, Anchorage Daily News, "Drug companies seek billion-dollar tax deductions from opioid settlement," 12 Feb. 2021 One of the biggest problems is that Senate committees have to be rejiggered to even out the number of members from each party, and that means, as in the child’s game of musical chairs, somebody will end up without a seat. Jamie Mcintyre, Washington Examiner, "Austin appears a lock for confirmation, as Senate votes Friday," 22 Jan. 2021 After being blown out by Ohio State and losing to Northwestern, Nebraska is now 1-2 with the chance to even its record in next Saturday's matchup against Illinois. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "College football winners and losers from Week 11: Penn State drops to 0-4 while Hoosiers stay hot," 14 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for even

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for even

Last Updated

5 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Even.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/even. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce even (audio) \

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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