\ 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 instanceso simple even a child can do it
b used as an intensive to stress the comparative degreeshe did even better
c used as an intensive to indicate a small or minimum amountdidn't even try
d used as an intensive to emphasize the identity or character of somethingforgot 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 evening (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 evenness (audio) \ noun


evener \ ˈēv-​nər How to pronounce evener (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 Students need to start out on an even playing field and the Preschool promise will help all students to do just that. Max Londberg, Cincinnati.com, "Election 2019: Who is running for Cincinnati school board and where do they stand on issues?," 29 Oct. 2019 Shouldn’t there, at a minimum, be an even playing field? Washington Post, "Amid vaping-related illnesses, a call for higher taxes and prices," 18 Oct. 2019 Government exists to pass and enforce laws to keep its people safe and to provide an even playing field for all citizens to succeed and live a decent life. Pioneer Press Elections Team, Twin Cities, "Minnesota elections 2019: Falcon Heights city council and mayoral candidates," 15 Oct. 2019 That doesn’t look much like an even playing field to this old grad. Los Angeles Times, "Letters: How fair is the Fair Pay to Play Act?," 4 Oct. 2019 But today, schoolchildren and adults alike who don’t have connectivity are faced with reduced opportunity to learn, find work and be on an even playing field. NBC News, "Lamoureux twins on digital access inequality: 'It's not a luxury, it's a necessity'," 1 Oct. 2019 One of the parts will have all the points corresponding to polynomials with an even number of factors. Quanta Magazine, "Big Question About Primes Proved in Small Number Systems," 26 Sep. 2019 Fewer students know the rule that, with an even number of items, the two middle values must be averaged to find the median. Andrew Daniels, Popular Mechanics, "The Complex SAT Math Problem Even the College Board Got Wrong," 6 Aug. 2019 If a district has an even split of votes, of course the party that finished drawing the lines gets it. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Mapmaker: The Gerrymandering game that puts the fun in undermining democracy," 19 Aug. 2019 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 The Blue Devils evened the score at 14 on the first play of the fourth quarter when Roberson had a 15-yard touchdown run – hurdling his way into the end zone with 11:53 left in the game. Mike May, sun-sentinel.com, "Roberson’s late heroics carry Pahokee to Muck Bowl win," 2 Nov. 2019 Kondelik evened things up with a short-handed goal at 2:03, but Merrimack regained the lead when Logan Drevitch scored 1:33 later. Staff Report, courant.com, "UConn wins Hockey East opener, beats Merrimack 3-2," 1 Nov. 2019 The win evens Oregon State’s conference record to 2-2, and 3-4 overall. oregonlive, "Beavers clutch at Cal: Describe Oregon State’s victory in 5 words or less," 19 Oct. 2019 The win at Boswell Field also evened the all-time series with Westminster at 25-25-1. Daily Pilot, "Marina football blows out rival Westminster in Battle at Boswell," 18 Oct. 2019 The Phillies evened the four-game series and dealt the Giants their seventh loss in nine games. Henry Schulman, SFChronicle.com, "Giants hit 3 homers, lose on Harper’s 456-foot blast into McCovey Cove," 10 Aug. 2019 Shots broke out, and by evening 19 people were dead, including both supporters and opponents of the government. Peter Millard, Bloomberg.com, "A Timeline of Venezuela’s Economic Rise and Fall," 16 Feb. 2019 West evened its record to 2-2 while sending the Golden Bears to their fourth straight loss. Author: Josh Reed, Anchorage Daily News, "West quarterback has a hand in six touchdowns to lead Eagles past Bartlett," 7 Sep. 2019 Many of the world’s central banks, from Australia, India to even the Federal Reserve, have already caught on. Washington Post, "ECB Is Awake and Asleep at the Same Time," 18 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for even

Last Updated

15 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for even

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

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More Definitions for even

How to pronounce even (audio)

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 instanceeven 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

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