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[awl-pur-puh s] /ˈɔlˈpɜr pəs/
for every purpose:
an all-purpose detergent.
Origin of all-purpose
First recorded in 1925-30 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for all-purpose
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They were sitting in all-purpose Lounges, arranged in a circle.

    Subjectivity Norman Spinrad
  • The carabao, or water buffalo, is the one all-purpose farm animal.

    The Old World and Its Ways

    William Jennings Bryan
  • It would be nice if we could report that they are fit for all-purpose service, on a wide range of planets.

    The Hunters William Morrison
  • Runkel's all-purpose Cocoa is the finest quality chocolate, already a powder, all ready to use!

    Mrs. Wilson's Cook Book Mary A. Wilson
  • An all-purpose goat's milk, Parmesan type, eaten sliced when young, grated when old.

    The Complete Book of Cheese Robert Carlton Brown
British Dictionary definitions for all-purpose


useful for many things
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for all-purpose

1877, from all + purpose (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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