What does the word "very" mean in the phrase "Until this very day"? I always thought very is an intensifier, but it doesn't seem to be doing that here.
The 2nd sense found here is:
(used as an intensive emphasizing superlatives or stressing identity or oppositeness): the very best thing; in the very same place as before. That is its adverb form.
As an adjective, it can mean:
3 precise; particular
(All of the above definitions are from the same online dictionary, same page.)
Given that it is being used as an adjective in this sentence, I think the proper way to understand "very" here is to read the sentence: "To this [exact/specific/precise] day."