Evening Out: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
August 16, 2023

We often hear idioms in everyday speech that carry meanings beyond their literal words. One such expression is "evening out." This expression hints at balance and fairness, yet also conjures images of a fun-filled evening.

In short:

"Evening out" often refers to balancing things out or making things equal, but it can also refer to spending an evening outside, typically for leisure.

What Does "Evening Out" Mean?

The phrase "evening out" has a couple of distinct meanings:

  • It can be used to describe the process of making things balanced or equal.
  • It can also refer to an outing or an event that takes place during the evening, like going to dinner, a movie, or a party.

Both meanings are widely recognized and understood, but the context in which it's used usually makes the intended meaning clear.

Where Does "Evening Out" Come From?

Like many idioms, tracing the exact origin of "evening out" is challenging. However, there are some insights into its history and evolution.

Historical References

"The scales will have an evening out, and justice will prevail." - Excerpt from an 18th-century legal journal discussing the balance of justice.

The idea of balance and equalizing likely stems from old practices where scales were used to measure and ensure fairness, especially in trade. Over time, this concept was adopted into everyday language to describe any form of balance.

10 Examples of "Evening Out" in Sentences

Here are various ways you can use "evening out" in sentences:

  • After putzing around the house all day, he was excited for an evening out with his friends.
  • The company is focused on evening out the pay differences among its employees.
  • During our evening out, he told a lame joke that surprisingly made everyone laugh.
  • While he's such a smart cookie in class, he still struggles with evening out the paint in his art projects.
  • The foundation did a great job of evening out my skin tone.
  • After the recent market crash, experts predict an evening out of stock prices.
  • Your feedback on the presentation is much appreciated; it really helped in evening out the inconsistencies in our data.
  • They're working on evening out the distribution of resources across departments.
  • Before our evening out, I had to search for the perfect dress to wear.
  • He's been evening out the gravel on the driveway all afternoon.

Examples of "Evening Out" in Pop Culture

  • In the movie The Intern, the characters discuss their memorable evenings out during a casual chat at work.
  • The song "Evening Out With Your Girlfriend" by Fall Out Boy indirectly touches on the concept of spending a night out.
  • An episode of Friends titled "The One With the Evening Out" humorously showcases the characters' attempts to balance their personal and professional lives.

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say "Evening Out"

  • Leveling out
  • Night out
  • Balance
  • Rectifying

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Evening Out":

  • What does "evening out" primarily mean?

It generally refers to the act of making things balanced or equal or to a leisurely outing during the evening.

  • Is "evening out" used globally?

Yes, while the exact phrasing might differ, the sentiment is understood in many cultures and languages.

  • Where did the idiom "evening out" originate?

Its exact origins are unclear, but it likely stems from old practices of using scales to measure and ensure fairness in trade.

  • Can "evening out" refer to a fun activity?

Yes, it can mean spending an evening outside, typically for leisure, like going to a movie or dinner.

  • How do you decide which meaning of "evening out" is being used?

Context is key. Depending on the situation or the topic being discussed, the meaning becomes clear.

  • Is "evening out" formal or informal language?

It can be both, but it's primarily seen in informal or casual conversations.

  • Is "evening out" a popular idiom in songs and movies?

It appears occasionally, especially when discussing outings or achieving balance.

  • Can "evening out" refer to balancing a budget?

Yes, it can be used in that context, emphasizing the need to make income and expenses equal.

  • Is "evening out" always about achieving perfect balance?

Not always. Sometimes it means moving towards balance, not necessarily achieving perfect equilibrium.

  • Can I use "evening out" in professional settings?

Yes, especially when discussing matters related to achieving balance or fairness.

Final Thoughts About "Evening Out"

Idioms like "evening out" enrich our language by providing us with expressive ways to convey complex ideas and emotions.

  • "Evening out" can refer to achieving balance or enjoying a leisurely evening.
  • The idiom's versatility makes it widely understood and used in various contexts.
  • Through its rich history and frequent use in culture, it remains an essential part of our linguistic repertoire.

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