ever so


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Never \Nev"er\ (n[e^]v"[~e]r), adv. [AS. n[=ae]fre; ne not, no +
   [=ae]fre ever.]
   1. Not ever; not at any time; at no time, whether past,
      present, or future. --Shak.
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            Death still draws nearer, never seeming near.
                                                  --Pope.
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   2. In no degree; not in the least; not.
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            Whosoever has a friend to guide him, may carry his
            eyes in another man's head, and yet see never the
            worse.                                --South.
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            And he answered him to never a word.  --Matt. xxvii.
                                                  14.
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   Note: Never is much used in composition with present
         participles to form adjectives, as in never-ceasing,
         never-dying, never-ending, never-fading, never-failing,
         etc., retaining its usual signification.
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   Never a deal, not a bit. [Obs.] --Chaucer.

   Never so, as never before; more than at any other time, or
      in any other circumstances; especially; particularly; --
      now often expressed or replaced by ever so.

            Ask me never so much dower and gift.  --Gen. xxxiv.
                                                  12.

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

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Ever \Ev"er\adv. [OE. ever, [ae]fre, AS. [ae]fre; perh. akin to
   AS. [=a] always. Cf. Aye, Age,Evry, Never.]
   [Sometimes contracted into e'er.]
   1. At any time; at any period or point of time.
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            No man ever yet hated his own flesh.  --Eph. v. 29.
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   2. At all times; through all time; always; forever.
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            He shall ever love, and always be
            The subject of by scorn and cruelty.  --Dryder.
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   3. Without cessation; continually.
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   Note: Ever is sometimes used as an intensive or a word of
         enforcement. "His the old man e'er a son?" --Shak.
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               To produce as much as ever they can. --M. Arnold.
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   Ever and anon, now and then; often. See under Anon.

   Ever is one, continually; constantly. [Obs.] --Chaucer.

   Ever so, in whatever degree; to whatever extent; -- used to
      intensify indefinitely the meaning of the associated
      adjective or adverb. See Never so, under Never. "Let
      him be ever so rich." --Emerson.
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            And all the question (wrangle e'er so long),
            Is only this, if God has placed him wrong. --Pope.
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            You spend ever so much money in entertaining your
            equals and betters.                   --Thackeray.

   For ever, eternally. See Forever.

   For ever and a day, emphatically forever. --Shak.
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            She [Fortune] soon wheeled away, with scornful
            laughter, out of sight for ever and day. --Prof.
                                                  Wilson.

   Or ever (for or ere), before. See Or, ere. [Archaic]
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            Would I had met my dearest foe in heaven
            Or ever I had seen that day, Horatio! --Shak.
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   Note: Ever is sometimes joined to its adjective by a hyphen,
         but in most cases the hyphen is needless; as, ever
         memorable, ever watchful, ever burning.
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