often

[[t]ɒ̱f(ə)n, AM ɔ͟ːf-[/t]]
(Often is usually used before the verb, but it may be used after the verb when it has a word like `less' or `more' before it, or when the clause is negative.)
1) ADV-GRADED: ADV before v, ADV with cl/group If something often happens, it happens many times or much of the time.

They often spent Christmas at Prescott Hill...

Early American weathervanes were most often cut from flat wooden boards...

They used these words freely, often in front of their parents too...

It was often hard to work and do the course at the same time...

That doesn't happen very often.

Syn:
frequently
Ant:
2) ADV: how ADV, as ADV as n/cl You use often after `how' to ask questions about frequency. You also use often in reported clauses and other statements to give information about the frequency of something.

How often do you brush your teeth?...

I don't know how often I heard the same awful jokes...

They jog, play tennis and water ski nearly twice as often as the general population.

Syn:
frequently
3) PHRASE: PHR with cl If something happens every so often, it happens regularly, but with fairly long intervals between each occasion.

She's going to come back every so often...

Every so often he would turn and look at her.

Syn:
occasionally
4) PHRASE: PHR with cl If you say that something happens as often as not, or more often than not, you mean that it happens fairly frequently, and that this can be considered as typical of the kind of situation you are talking about.

Yet, as often as not, they find themselves the target of persecution rather than praise...

Although sometimes I feel like bothering, as often as not I don't...

Behind many successful men there is, more often than not, a woman who makes this success possible.


English dictionary. 2008.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • often — adverb Etymology: Middle English, alteration of oft Date: 14th century many times ; frequently …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • every so often — phrasal see every now and then …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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  • Oftener — Often Of ten ([o^]f n; 115), adv. [Compar. {Oftener} ([o^]f n*[ e]r); superl. {Oftenest}.] [Formerly also ofte, fr. oft. See {Oft}., adv.] Frequently; many times; not seldom. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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