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I like the sound of it, but I am having trouble knowing what it precisely means. Would anyone give me a tired but clear definition?

"As it was" means...
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More context is needed. Can you give the whole sentence?
Anonymous"As it was" means...
For one thing, "in the same condition in which it was found" or "unaltered".

We bought the house as it was.

You'll have to come up with some sentences containing that phrase if this isn't enough. There are probably other meanings as well. Consider

As it was raining, we stayed home all day.

CJ
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Had affection, goodness, modesty, real talent, ever employed those bright orbs as interpreters, I do not think I could have refrained from giving a kind and encouraging, perhaps an ardent reply now and then; but as it was, I found pleasure in answering the glance of vanity with the gaze of stoicism.
The Professor by Bronte, Charlotte
I was thinking, is it equivalent to the phrase "nevertheless"?
I think this is the definition you're referring to:

as it were:

Used when describing someone or something in a way that is not quite exact:

Jim Radcliffe became our idol, as it were, the man we all wanted to be
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" I was thinking, is it equivalent to the phrase "nevertheless"? "

Yes. I think that is fairly close. Any number of paraphrases might be suggested, all of them less elegant than the original:

considering that this was not the case

given that the situation was not as just described
the situation being what it was rather than as just described

CJ
English 1b3as it were
Strangely, "as it were" has a rather different meaning from "as it was". Emotion: smile

CJ
CalifJimWe bought the house as it was.
Maybe this is a dialectal thing, but I wouldn't say this to mean "unaltered". For me, the expression here is "as is", even in non-present tenses: "We bought the house as is"
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