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.

Nearby words

  1. all in, be,
  2. all joking aside,
  3. all kinds of,
  4. all of,
  5. all of a sudden,
  6. all on,
  7. all one,
  8. all out,
  9. all outdoors, big as,
  10. all over

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