What does “ever” mean in this sentence?

A passion for books and the words inside them saved me from ever
knowing a moment’s loneliness during library hours.

The Power of Words by Benita Porter

What do I have to pick up for the ‘ever’ on OALD or Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary?

Answer

Ever means “always”, or “for the entirety of time”.

Consequently

A passion for books and the words inside them saved me from ever knowing a moment’s loneliness.

means that “A passion for books and the words inside them” are responsible for the author never “knowing a moment’s loneliness”.

The sentence then ends with an additional time constraint:

A passion for books and the words inside them saved me from ever knowing a moment’s loneliness during library hours.

What this caveat does is it constrains “never” to mean “whilst the library was open”.

So in conclusion, the sentence as a whole means that whilst the library was open for business, “a passion for books and the words inside them” saved the author from “knowing a moment’s loneliness”.

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : Listenever , Answer Author : Matt

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