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.

  • 1
    I would equate it to "specific", in this context.
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 4, 2020 at 12:46
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    Why don't you think it's an intensifier? It's emphasizing that it's important that it stopped today and no sooner.
    – Mary
    Jun 4, 2020 at 12:56
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    Does this answer your question? How to analyze lightly varying senses of adjective *very* It is an intensifying usage here; 'Until this day' carries precisely the same meaning, and the version including 'very' might be paraphrased 'Until this day ... this day!' Jun 4, 2020 at 13:39

1 Answer 1



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

5 actual

(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."

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