never-never

noun
plural -s

Definition of never-never

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 or never-never land or less commonly never-never country
a(1) Australia : sparsely settled country in the northern and western part of Queensland
(2) : a remote or sparsely settled region : a barren or frontier area
b(1) never-never land : an ideal or imaginary place or region that never-never land of true romance and pure love— Rollene W. Saal
(2) : an exotic place a never-never land of poodles and chauffeurs— Kathryn Livingston also : an absurd or indeterminate situation was capital disappearing into an unproductive never-never land? — Gregg Easterbrook
2 : an illusory existence
3 [reduplication of never] British : a system of installment purchase

never-never

adjective

Definition of never-never (Entry 2 of 2)

: characterized by an imaginary, idealistic, or fantastic quality the never-never rhetoric … which had to do with perfect justice and perfect harmony— Jane Kramer

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of never-never

Noun

1833, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1900, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for never-never

Noun

short for never-never land, probably from reduplication of never + land

Adjective

never-never land

Learn More About never-never

Time Traveler for never-never

Time Traveler

The first known use of never-never was in 1833

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near never-never

nevermore

never-never

never-never land

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for never-never

Cite this Entry

“Never-never.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/never-never. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!