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[awl-tuh-geth -er, awl-tuh-geth-er] /ˌɔl təˈgɛð ər, ˈɔl təˌgɛð ər/
wholly; entirely; completely; quite:
altogether fitting.
with all or everything included:
The debt amounted altogether to twenty dollars.
with everything considered; on the whole:
Altogether, I'm glad it's over.
in the altogether, Informal. nude:
When the phone rang she had just stepped out of the bathtub and was in the altogether.
Origin of altogether
1125-75; variant of Middle English altogeder. See all, together
1. utterly, totally, absolutely.
Usage note
The forms altogether and all together, though often indistinguishable in speech, are distinct in meaning. The adverb altogether means “wholly, entirely, completely”: an altogether confused scene. The phrase all together means “in a group”: The children were all together in the kitchen. This all can be omitted without seriously affecting the meaning: The children were together in the kitchen. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for altogether
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There was a scar on one cheek, and, altogether, he was not very prepossessing in his appearance.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • She was thus extremely unreasonable and altogether charming.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • The natives met with were friendly, but to us altogether unintelligible.

  • Still the country was much improved, and not altogether unknown.

  • Perhaps the quiet of his boy had not been altogether the quiet of cowardice.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
British Dictionary definitions for altogether


/ˌɔːltəˈɡɛðə; ˈɔːltəˌɡɛðə/
with everything included: altogether he owed me sixty pounds
completely; utterly; totally: he was altogether mad
on the whole: altogether it was a very good party
(informal) in the altogether, naked
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 altogether

early 13c., altogedere, a strengthened form of all (also see together); used in the sense of "a whole" from 1660s. The altogether "nude" is from 1894.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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