every so often

Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms.


a. Constituting each and all members of a group without exception.
b. Being all possible: had every chance of winning, but lost.
2. Being each of a specified succession of objects or intervals: every third seat; every two hours.
3. Being the highest degree or expression of: showed us every attention; had every hope of succeeding.
every bit Informal
In all ways; equally: He is every bit as mean as she is.
every now and then/again
From time to time; occasionally.
every once in a while
From time to time; occasionally.
every other
Each alternate: She went to visit her aunt every other week.
every so often
At intervals; occasionally.
every which way Informal
1. In every direction.
2. In complete disorder.

[Middle English everi, everich, from Old English ǣfre ǣlc : ǣfre, ever; see aiw- in Indo-European roots + ǣlc, each; see līk- in Indo-European roots.]
Usage Note: Every is representative of a group of English words and expressions that are singular in form but felt to be plural in sense. The class includes noun phrases introduced by every, any, and certain uses of some. These expressions invariably take a singular verb; we say Every car has (not have) been tested, Anyone is (not are) liable to fall ill, and Some pizza is left over from the party. But when a sentence contains a pronoun that refers to a previous noun phrase introduced by every, grammar and sense pull in different directions. The grammar of these expressions requires a singular pronoun, as in Every car must have its brakes tested, but the meaning often leads people to use the plural pronoun, as in Every car must have their brakes tested. The use of plural pronouns in such cases is common in speech, but it is still widely regarded as incorrect in writing. · The effort to adhere to the grammatical rule causes complications, however. The first is grammatical. When a pronoun refers to a phrase containing every or any that falls within a different independent clause, the pronoun cannot be singular. Thus it is not idiomatic to say Every man left; he took his raincoat with him. Nor is it grammatical to say No one could be seen, could he? If the plural forms seem wrong in these examples (Every man took their raincoat with them), one way around the problem is to rephrase the sentence so as to get the pronoun into the same clause (as in Every man left, taking his raincoat with him). Another is to substitute another word for every or any, usually by casting the entire sentence as plural, as in All the men left; they took their raincoats with them. · The second complication involves the issue of gender. When a phrase introduced by every or any refers to a group containing both men and women, what should the gender of the singular pronoun be? This matter is discussed in the Usage Notes at he and they. See Usage Notes at all, each, either, he1, neither, none, they.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.every so often - occasionally; "every so often she visits her father"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
أحْيانا، من حينٍ إلى آخَر
med jævne mellemrum
annaî veifiî


(ˈofn) adverb
many times. I often go to the theatre; I should see him more often.
every so often
sometimes; occasionally. I meet him at the club every so often.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
Alphonso gets these bad streaks just about every so often. That's the second dog he's killed for me."
But every so often, one comes along that will for some reason stick.
While her commitment to the choreography wavered at times, Britney did show glimpses of her old self every so often, particularly during her dance breaks in 'Womanizer' and 'Me Against the Music.'
These days, it has become quite a trend to host a grand ceremony every so often to give awards to both leading and emerging TV and film artistes in acknowledgement of their talent.
Every so often in Redditch, a number of Romany caravans and their horses park at different sites and cause no problems, leaving the sites almost as they found them.
TOP tier golf can be cut throat - but every so often it shows its heart.
Every so often an opportunity comes often an opportunity comes along to do something exciting along to do something exciting and out of character.
The show, which features an alien time traveler named The Doctor, has featured 11 actors in the title role -- every so often he regenerates into a new body, a brilliant mechanism to keep the show going -- and the show has garnered legions of fans across the globe.
Every so often it would attempt to rear up out of the water and all the spectators received a good soaking.
Every so often, a call comes out for the United States and other governments to help bolster the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority so that it can ostensibly pay civil salaries, alleviate poverty, and help build infrastructure.
So, go ahead, fill up with premium diesel every so often and you will reduce carbon, soot and sludge buildup.