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Idioms and Phrases with all of the above

all of the above

Also, none of the above. Each one (not any) of the above-named alternatives. For example, Have you decided to quit and announced your decision, or do you want to find another job first?—None of the above. These phrases originated as answers to a multiple-choice question on a test but are now also used colloquially, often as a form of avoiding a direct answer. They use above in the sense of “preceding,” a usage dating from the second half of the 1700s.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.