Nevertheless; notwithstanding; yet; still; though; as, I shall not oppose your design; I can not, however, approve of it. "In your excuse your love does little say; You might howe'er have took a better way." (Dryden)
These words, as here compared, have an adversative sense in reference to something referred to in the context. However is the most general, and leads to a final conclusion or decision. Thus we say, the truth, however, has not yet fully come out; i.e, such is the speaker's conclusion in view of the whole case. So also we say, however, you may rely on my assistance to that amount; i. E, at all events, whatever may happen, this is my final decision. At least is adversative in another way. It points out the utmost concession that can possibly be required, and still marks the adversative conclusion; as, at least, this must be done; whatever may be our love of peace, we must at least maintain the rights of conscience. Nevertheless denotes that though the concession be fully made, it has no bearing of the question; as, nevertheless, we must go forward. Yet signifies that however extreme the supposition or fact comceded may be, the consequence which might naturally be expected does not and will not follow; as, though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee; though he slay me, yet will I trust in him. Cf. But.
(01 Mar 1998)
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