get even


  1. level; flat; without surface irregularities; smooth: an even road.
  2. on the same level; in the same plane or line; parallel: even with the ground.
  3. free from variations or fluctuations; regular: even motion.
  4. uniform in action, character, or quality: to hold an even course.
  5. equal in measure or quantity: Add even amounts of oil and vinegar.
  6. divisible by two, as a number (opposed to odd).
  7. denoted by such a number: the even pages of a book.
  8. exactly expressible in integers, or in tens, hundreds, etc., without fractional parts: an even seven miles.
  9. Mathematics. (of a function) having a sign that remains the same when the sign of each independent variable is changed at the same time.
  10. equally balanced or divided; equal: Check to see if the scales are even.
  11. leaving no balance of debt on either side; square: We will not be even until I can repay him for saving my life.
  12. calm; placid; not easily excited or angered: an even temper.
  13. equitable, impartial, or fair: an even bargain.


  1. evenly: The road ran even over the fields.
  2. still; yet (used to emphasize a comparative): even more suitable.
  3. (used to suggest that something mentioned as a possibility constitutes an extreme case or an unlikely instance): Even the slightest noise disturbs him. Even if he attends, he may not participate.
  4. just (used to emphasize occurrence, coincidence, or simultaneousness of occurrences): Even as he lay dying, they argued over his estate.
  5. fully or quite: even to death.
  6. indeed (used as an intensive for stressing the identity or truth of something): He is willing, even eager, to do it.
  7. exactly or precisely: It was even so.

verb (used with object)

  1. to make even; level; smooth (sometimes followed by out): to even a board with a plane.
  2. to place in an even state as to claim or obligation; balance (often followed by up): to even up accounts.

verb (used without object)

  1. to become even: The odds evened before the race.

Verb Phrases

  1. even out,
    1. to make or become even, smooth, or flat: The wrinkles will even out when the suit dries.
    2. to become equal, balanced, stable, etc.: optimistic that the situation would even out eventually.
  1. break even, to have one’s profits equal one’s losses; neither gain nor lose: The company barely broke even last year.
  2. get even, to be revenged; retaliate: He vowed to get even for the insult.


  1. level and regular; flatan even surface
  2. (postpositive foll by with) on the same level or in the same plane (as)one surface even with another
  3. without variation or fluctuation; regular; constantan even rate of progress
  4. not readily moved or excited; placid; calman even temper
  5. equally balanced between two sidesan even game
  6. equal or identical in number, quantity, etctwo even spoonfuls of sugar
    1. (of a number) divisible by two
    2. characterized or indicated by such a numbermaps are on the even pages Compare odd (def. 4)
  7. relating to or denoting two or either of two alternatives, events, etc, that have an equal probabilityan even chance of missing or catching a train
  8. having no balance of debt; neither owing nor being owed
  9. just and impartial; fairan even division
  10. exact in number, amount, or extentan even pound
  11. equal, as in score; levelnow the teams are even
  12. maths (of a function) unchanged in value when the sign of the independent variable is changed, as in y = z ²See odd (def. 8)
  13. even money
    1. a bet in which the winnings are the same as the amount staked
    2. (as modifier)the even-money favourite
  14. get even informal to exact revenge (on); settle accounts (with)
  15. of even date law formal, or obsolete of the same or today’s date


  1. (intensifier; used to suggest that the content of a statement is unexpected or paradoxical)even an idiot can do that
  2. (intensifier; used with comparative forms)this is even better
  3. notwithstanding; in spite ofeven having started late she soon caught him up
  4. used to introduce a more precise version of a word, phrase, or statementhe is base, even depraved
  5. used preceding a clause of supposition or hypothesis to emphasize the implication that whether or not the condition in it is fulfilled, the statement in the main clause remains valideven if she died he wouldn’t care
  6. archaic that is to say; namely (used for emphasis)he, even he, hath spoken these things
  7. archaic all the way; fullyI love thee even unto death
  8. even as (conjunction) at the very same moment or in the very same way thateven as I spoke, it thundered
  9. even so in spite of any assertion to the contrary: nevertheless


  1. to make or become even


  1. an archaic word for eve, evening

Old English efen “level,” also “equal, like; calm, harmonious; quite, fully; namely,” from Proto-Germanic *ebnaz (cf. Old Saxon eban, Old Frisian even “level, plain, smooth,” Dutch even, Old High German eban, German eben, Old Norse jafn, Danish jævn, Gothic ibns).

Etymologists are uncertain whether the original sense was “level” or “alike.” Used extensively in Old English compounds, with a sense of “fellow, co-” (e.g. efeneald “of the same age;” Middle English even-sucker “foster-brother”). Of numbers, from 1550s. Modern adverbial sense (introducing an extreme case of something more generally implied) seems to have arisen 16c. from use of the word to emphasize identity (“Who, me?” “Even you,” etc.) Sense of “on an equal footing” is from 1630s. Rhyming reduplication phrase even steven is attested from 1866; even break first recorded 1911. Even-tempered from 1875.


“to make level,” Old English efnan (see even (adj.)).


“end of the day,” Old English æfen, Mercian efen, Northumbrian efern (see eve).

  1. Divisible by 2 with a remainder of 0, such as 12 or 876.

In addition to the idioms beginning with even

  • even money
  • even so

also see:

  • break even
  • never give a sucker an even break
  • on an even keel

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