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above

[uh-buhv]
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adverb
  1. in, at, or to a higher place.
  2. overhead, upstairs, or in the sky: My brother lives in the apartment above. A flock of birds circled above.
  3. higher in rank, authority, or power: She was told to speak to the person above.
  4. higher in quantity or number: books with 100 pages and above.
  5. before or earlier, especially in a book or other piece of writing; foregoing: the remark quoted above.Compare below(def 6).
  6. in or to heaven: gone to her eternal rest above.
  7. Zoology. on the upper or dorsal side.
  8. Theater. upstage.Compare below(def 9).
  9. higher than zero on the temperature scale: The temperature dropped to ten above this morning.
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preposition
  1. in or to a higher place than; over: to fly above the clouds; the floor above ours.
  2. more in quantity or number than; in excess of: all girls above 12 years of age; The weight is above a ton.
  3. superior in rank, authority, or standing to: A captain is above a lieutenant.
  4. not subject or liable to; not capable of (some undesirable action, thought, etc.): above suspicion; to be above bad behavior.
  5. of too fine a character for: He is above such trickery.
  6. rather than; in preference to: to favor one child above the other.
  7. beyond, especially north of: six miles above Baltimore.
  8. Theater. upstage of.
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adjective
  1. said, mentioned, or written above; foregoing: the above explanation.
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noun
  1. something that was said, mentioned, or written above: to refer to the above.
  2. the person or persons previously indicated: The above will all stand trial.
  3. heaven: truly a gift from above.
  4. a higher authority: an order from above.
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Idioms
  1. above all, most important of all; principally: charity above all.
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Origin of above

before 900; Middle English above(n) (Cf. aboon), Old English abufan, onbufan (a-1, on + bufan above (cognate with Dutch boven), equivalent to b(e) by1 + ufan, cognate with Old Frisian uva, Old Saxon oban(a), Old High German obana, German oben, Old Norse ofan above; akin to over); see up; cf. about for formation

Usage note

Above as an adjective ( the above data ) or as a noun ( study the above ) referring to what has been mentioned earlier in a piece of writing has long been standard. A few critics object to these uses in general writing, believing that they are more appropriate in business or technical contexts; they occur, however, in all kinds of edited writing.

all

[awl]
adjective
  1. the whole of (used in referring to quantity, extent, or duration): all the cake; all the way; all year.
  2. the whole number of (used in referring to individuals or particulars, taken collectively): all students.
  3. the greatest possible (used in referring to quality or degree): with all due respect; with all speed.
  4. every: all kinds; all sorts.
  5. any; any whatever: beyond all doubt.
  6. nothing but; only: The coat is all wool.
  7. dominated by or as if by the conspicuous possession or use of a particular feature: The colt was all legs. They were all ears, listening attentively to everything she said.
  8. Chiefly Pennsylvania German. all gone; consumed; finished: The pie is all.
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pronoun
  1. the whole quantity or amount: He ate all of the peanuts. All are gone.
  2. the whole number; every one: all of us.
  3. everything: Is that all you want to say? All is lost.
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noun
  1. one's whole interest, energy, or property: to give one's all; to lose one's all.
  2. (often initial capital letter) the entire universe.
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adverb
  1. wholly; entirely; completely: all alone.
  2. only; exclusively: He spent his income all on pleasure.
  3. each; apiece: The score was one all.
  4. Archaic. even; just.
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Idioms
  1. above all, before everything else; chiefly: Above all, the little girl wanted a piano.
  2. after all, in spite of the circumstances; notwithstanding: He came in time after all.
  3. all at once. once(def 9).
  4. all but, almost; very nearly: These batteries are all but dead.
  5. all in, Northern and Western U.S. very tired; exhausted: We were all in at the end of the day.
  6. all in all,
    1. everything considered; in general: All in all, her health is greatly improved.
    2. altogether: There were twelve absentees all in all.
    3. everything; everything regarded as important: Painting became his all in all.
  7. all in hand, Printing, Journalism. (of the copy for typesetting a particular article, book, issue, etc.) in the possession of the compositor.
  8. all in the wind, Nautical. too close to the wind.
  9. all out, with all available means or effort: We went all out to win the war.
  10. all over,
    1. finished; done; ended.
    2. everywhere; in every part.
    3. in every respect; typically.
  11. all standing, Nautical.
    1. in such a way and so suddenly that sails or engines are still set to propel a vessel forward: The ship ran aground all standing.
    2. fully clothed: The crew turned in all standing.
    3. fully equipped, as a vessel.
  12. all that, remarkably; entirely; decidedly (used in negative constructions): It's not all that different from your other house.
  13. all the better, more advantageous; so much the better: If the sun shines it will be all the better for our trip.
  14. all there, Informal. mentally competent; not insane or feeble-minded: Some of his farfetched ideas made us suspect that he wasn't all there.
  15. all the same. same(def 9).
  16. all told. told(def 2).
  17. all up,
    1. Printing, Journalism.(of copy) completely set in type.
    2. Informal.with no vestige of hope remaining: It's all up with George—they've caught him.
  18. and all, together with every other associated or connected attribute, object, or circumstance: What with the snow and all, we may be a little late.
  19. at all,
    1. in the slightest degree: I wasn't surprised at all.
    2. for any reason: Why bother at all?
    3. in any way: no offense at all.
  20. for all (that), in spite of; notwithstanding: For all that, it was a good year.
  21. in all, all included; all together: a hundred guests in all.
  22. once and for all, for the last time; finally: The case was settled once and for all when the appeal was denied.
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Origin of all

before 900; Middle English al, plural alle; Old English eal(l); cognate with Gothic alls, Old Norse allr, Old Frisian, Dutch, Middle Low German al, Old Saxon, Old High German al(l) (German all); if < *ol-no-, equivalent to Welsh oll and akin to Old Irish uile < *ol-io-; cf. almighty
Can be confusedall awl (see usage note at the current entry)

Synonyms

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
2. every one of, each of. 14. totally, utterly, fully.

Usage note

Expressions like all the farther and all the higher occur chiefly in informal speech: This is all the farther the bus goes. That's all the higher she can jump. Elsewhere as far as and as high as are generally used: This is as far as the bus goes. That's as high as she can jump.
Although some object to the inclusion of of in such phrases as all of the students and all of the contracts and prefer to omit it, the construction is entirely standard.
See also already, alright, altogether.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

chieflyespeciallymainlymostlyprimarilyprincipallyimportantlysupremely

British Dictionary definitions for above all

above

preposition
  1. on top of or higher than; overthe sky above the earth
  2. greater than in quantity or degreeabove average in weight
  3. superior to or prior toto place honour above wealth
  4. too honourable or high-minded forabove petty gossiping
  5. too respected for; beyondabove suspicion; above reproach
  6. too difficult to be understood bythe talk was above me
  7. louder or higher than (other noise)I heard her call above the radio
  8. in preference toI love you above all others
  9. north ofwhich town lies just above London?
  10. upstream from
  11. above all most of all; especially
  12. above and beyond in addition to
  13. above oneself presumptuous or conceited
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adverb
  1. in or to a higher placethe sky above
    1. in a previous place (in something written)
    2. (in combination)the above-mentioned clause
  2. higher in rank or position
  3. in or concerned with heavenseek the things that are above
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noun
  1. the above something that is above or previously mentioned
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adjective
  1. mentioned or appearing in a previous place (in something written)
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Word Origin

Old English abufan, from a- on + bufan above

all

determiner
    1. the whole quantity or amount of; totality of; every one of a classall the rice; all men are mortal
    2. (as pronoun; functioning as sing or plural)all of it is nice; all are welcome
    3. (in combination with a noun used as a modifier)an all-ticket match; an all-amateur tournament; an all-night sitting
  1. the greatest possiblein all earnestness
  2. any whateverto lose all hope of recovery; beyond all doubt
  3. above all most of all; especially
  4. after all See after (def. 11)
  5. all along all the time
  6. all but almost; nearlyall but dead
  7. all of no less or smaller thanshe's all of thirteen years
  8. all over
    1. finished; at an endthe affair is all over between us
    2. over the whole area (of something); everywhere (in, on, etc)all over England
    3. typically; representatively (in the phrase that's me (you, him, us, them, etc) all over)Also (Irish): all out
    4. unduly effusive towards
    5. sportin a dominant position over
  9. See all in
  10. all in all
    1. everything consideredall in all, it was a great success
    2. the object of one's attention or interestyou are my all in all
  11. all that or that (usually used with a negative) informal (intensifier)she's not all that intelligent
  12. all the (foll by a comparative adjective or adverb) so much (more or less) than otherwisewe must work all the faster now
  13. all too definitely but regrettablyit's all too true
  14. and all
    1. British informalas well; tooand you can take that smile off your face and all
    2. Southern Africana parenthetical filler phrase used at the end of a statement to make a sl ight pause in speaking
  15. and all that informal
    1. and similar or associated things; et ceteracoffee, tea, and all that will be served in the garden
    2. used as a filler or to make what precedes more vague: in this sense, it often occurs with concessive forceshe was sweet and pretty and all that, but I still didn't like her
    3. See that (def. 4)
  16. as all that as one might expect or hopeshe's not as pretty as all that, but she has personality
  17. at all
    1. (used with a negative or in a question)in any way whatsoever or to any extent or degreeI didn't know that at all
    2. even so; anywayI'm surprised you came at all
  18. be all for informal to be strongly in favour of
  19. be all that informal, mainly US to be exceptionally good, talented, or attractive
  20. for all
    1. in so far as; to the extent thatfor all anyone knows, he was a baron
    2. notwithstandingfor all my pushing, I still couldn't move it
  21. for all that in spite of thathe was a nice man for all that
  22. in all altogetherthere were five of them in all
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adverb
  1. (in scores of games) apiece; eachthe score at half time was three all
  2. completelyall alone
  3. be all … informal used for emphasis when introducing direct speech or nonverbal communicationhe was all, 'I'm not doing that'
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noun
  1. (preceded by my, your, his, etc) (one's) complete effort or interestto give your all; you are my all
  2. totality or whole
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Related formsRelated prefixes: pan-, panto-

Word Origin

Old English eall; related to Old High German al, Old Norse allr, Gothic alls all
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

Word Origin and History for above all

above

adv.

Old English abufan, earlier onbufan, from on (see on) + bufan "over," compound of be "by" (see by) + ufan "over/high," from Proto-Germanic *ufan-, *uban- (cf. Old Saxon, Old High German oban, German oben), from PIE root *upo (see up (adv.)). Meaning "in addition" first corded 1590s.

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all

Old English eall "all, every, entire," from Proto-Germanic *alnaz (cf. Old Frisian, Old High German al, Old Norse allr, Gothic alls), with no certain connection outside Germanic.

Combinations with all meaning "wholly, without limit" were common in Old English (e.g. eall-halig "all-holy," eall-mihtig "all-mighty") and the method continued to form new compound words throughout the history of English. First record of all out "to one's full powers" is 1880. All-terrain vehicle first recorded 1968. All clear as a signal of "no danger" is recorded from 1902. All right, indicative of approval, is attested from 1953.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with above all

above all

More than anything else, as in A winter hike calls for good equipment, but above all it requires careful planning. This phrase first appears in William Langland's Piers Ploughman (1377), in which the narrator exhorts readers to love the Lord God above all. Also see first and last.

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above

In addition to the idioms beginning with above

  • above all
  • above and beyond
  • above suspicion
  • above the law

also see:

  • all (none) of the above
  • cut above
  • head and shoulders above
  • over and above
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all

In addition to the idioms beginning with all

  • all along
  • all along the line
  • all and sundry
  • all at once
  • all at sea
  • all better
  • all but
  • all cylinders
  • all ears
  • all else being equal
  • alley cat
  • all eyes
  • all for
  • all for the best
  • all gone
  • all hours
  • all in a day's work
  • all in all
  • all in, be
  • all in good time
  • all in one piece
  • all joking aside
  • all kinds of
  • all of
  • all of a sudden
  • all of the above
  • all one
  • all out
  • all outdoors, big as
  • all over
  • all over but the shouting
  • all over one
  • all over the place
  • all over with
  • all present and accounted for
  • all right
  • all right for you
  • all right with one
  • all roads lead to Rome
  • all set
  • all sewed up
  • all shook up
  • all sorts
  • all systems go
  • all talk (and no action)
  • all that
  • all that glitters is not gold
  • all the
  • all the best
  • all the better
  • all the rage
  • all there
  • all the same
  • all the thing
  • all the time
  • all the way
  • all the worse
  • all things to all people, be
  • all thumbs
  • all told
  • all to the good
  • all up
  • all very well
  • all well and good
  • all wet
  • all wool and a yard wide
  • all work and no play (makes Jack a dull boy)
  • all year round

also see:

  • above all
  • after all
  • against all odds
  • as all getout
  • at all
  • at all costs
  • be-all and end-all
  • beat all
  • by all accounts
  • by all means
  • by all odds
  • cap it all
  • fall all over
  • firing on all cylinders
  • first of all
  • for all
  • for all I care
  • for all I know
  • for all one's worth
  • for all that
  • get away (from it all)
  • get one's act (it all) together
  • go all the way
  • have all one's buttons
  • have it all over someone
  • have it both ways (all)
  • hit on all cylinders
  • hold all the aces
  • in a (all of a) dither
  • in all
  • in all good conscience
  • in all one's born days
  • in all probability
  • (all) in the same boat
  • it's all downhill from here
  • it's all over with
  • it takes all sorts
  • jump all over
  • know all the answers
  • know-it-all
  • laugh all the way to the bank
  • least of all
  • let it all hang out
  • not all it's cracked up to be
  • not at all
  • not for all the tea in china
  • no time at all
  • of all the nerve
  • of all things
  • once and for all
  • one and all
  • pull out all the stops
  • put all one's eggs in one basket
  • seen one, seen them all
  • till all hours
  • to all intents and purposes
  • (all) to the good
  • turn out all right
  • walk all over
  • warts and all
  • when all's said and done
  • with all due respect
  • with all one's heart
  • you can't win them all
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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.