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



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

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First Known Use of never-never


1833, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1900, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for never-never


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


never-never land

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Time Traveler for never-never

Time Traveler

The first known use of never-never was in 1833

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Cite this Entry

“Never-never.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

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