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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Never


NEVER, adverb

1. Not ever; not at any time; at no time. It refers to the past or the future. This man was never at Calcutta; he will never be there.

2. It has a particular use in the following sentences.

Ask me never so much dower and gift. Genesis 34:12.

Which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely. Psalms 58:5.

A fear of battery-though never so well grounded, is no duress.

This is a genuine English use of never found in our Saxon authors, and it ought to be retained. Ask me so much dower as never was done; that is, dower to any extent. The practice of using ever in such phrases, is corrupt. It not only destroys the force but the propriety of the phrase.

3. In no degree; not.

Whoever has a friend to guide him, may carry his eyes in another mans head and yet see never the worse.

4. It is used for not. He answered him never a word; that is, not ever. This use is not common.

5. It is much used in composition; as in never-ending, never-failing, never-dying, never-ceasing, never-fading; but in all such compounds, never retains its true meaning.