[ awl ]
See synonyms for all on
  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.

  1. the greatest possible (used in referring to quality or degree): with all due respect;with all speed.

  2. every different; many different: I've met all manner of people on my travels.This essay has all sorts of grammatical errors.

  3. any; any whatever: beyond all doubt.

  4. nothing but; alone: The coat is all wool.

  5. 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.

  6. Chiefly Pennsylvania German. all gone; consumed; eaten up: The pie is all.

  1. the whole quantity or amount: He ate all of the peanuts. All are gone.

  2. the whole number; every one: all of us.

  1. everything: Is that all you want to say?All is lost.

  1. one's whole interest, energy, or property: to give one's all;to lose one's all.

  2. Often All . the entire universe.

  1. wholly; entirely; completely: all alone.

  2. only; exclusively: He spent his income all on pleasure.

  1. each; apiece: The score was one all.

  2. Archaic. even; just.

Idioms about all

  1. above all. See entry at above all.

  2. after all, in spite of the circumstances; notwithstanding: He came in time after all.

  1. all at once. once (def. 9).

  2. all bets are off. See entry at all bets are off.

  3. all but, almost; very nearly: These batteries are all but dead.

  4. all in, Northern and Western U.S. very tired; exhausted: We were all in at the end of the day.

  5. all in all,

    • everything considered; in general: All in all, her health is greatly improved.

    • altogether: There were twelve absentees all in all.

    • everything; everything regarded as important: Painting became his all in all.

  6. all in hand, Printing, Journalism. (of the copy for typesetting a particular article, book, issue, etc.) in the possession of the compositor.

  7. all in the wind, Nautical. too close to the wind.

  8. all out, with all available means or effort: We went all out to win the war.

  9. all over,

    • finished; done; ended.

    • everywhere; in every part.

    • in every respect or typically.

  10. all standing, Nautical.

    • 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.

    • fully clothed: The crew turned in all standing.

    • fully equipped, as a vessel.

  11. all that,

    • remarkably; entirely; decidedly (used in negative constructions): It's not all that different from your other house.

    • Slang. exceptionally good; the finest; the best: His new shoes are all that.

  12. all the better, more advantageous; so much the better: If the sun shines it will be all the better for our trip.

  13. all there, Informal. mentally competent; sane: Some of his far-fetched ideas made us suspect that he wasn't all there.

  14. all the same. same (def. 9).

  15. all told. told (def. 2).

  16. all up,

    • Printing, Journalism. (of copy) completely set in type.

    • Informal. with no vestige of hope remaining: It's all up with George—they've caught him.

  17. 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.

  18. at all,

    • in the slightest degree: I wasn't surprised at all.

    • for any reason: Why bother at all?

    • in any way: Sorry, I meant no offense at all.

  19. be all, Informal. to say, declare, think, or feel (usually used to introduce reported speech or thought): I try to talk to her and she's all, “Get away from me!”

  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.

Origin of all

First recorded before 900; Middle English al, 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 ); perhaps from unattested ol-no-, equivalent to Welsh oll and akin to Old Irish uile, from unattested ol-io-; cf. almighty

usage note For all

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.

Other words for all

Words that may be confused with all

Words Nearby all

Other definitions for all- (2 of 2)


  1. variant of allo- before a vowel: allonym. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use all in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for all (1 of 2)


/ (ɔːl) /

    • the whole quantity or amount of; totality of; every one of a class: all the rice; all men are mortal

    • (as pronoun; functioning as sing or plural): all of it is nice; all are welcome

    • (in combination with a noun used as a modifier): an all-ticket match; an all-amateur tournament; an all-night sitting

  1. the greatest possible: in all earnestness

  1. any whatever: to lose all hope of recovery; beyond all doubt

  2. above all most of all; especially

  3. after all See after (def. 11)

  4. all along all the time

  5. all but almost; nearly: all but dead

  6. all of no less or smaller than: she's all of thirteen years

  7. all over

    • finished; at an end: the affair is all over between us

    • over the whole area (of something); everywhere (in, on, etc): all over England

    • typically; representatively (in the phrase that's me (you, him, us, them, etc) all over): Also (Irish): all out

    • unduly effusive towards

    • sport in a dominant position over

  8. See all in

  9. all in all

    • everything considered: all in all, it was a great success

    • the object of one's attention or interest: you are my all in all

  10. all that or that (usually used with a negative) informal (intensifier): she's not all that intelligent

  11. all the (foll by a comparative adjective or adverb) so much (more or less) than otherwise: we must work all the faster now

  12. all too definitely but regrettably: it's all too true

  13. and all

    • British informal as well; too: and you can take that smile off your face and all

    • Southern African a parenthetical filler phrase used at the end of a statement to make a sl ight pause in speaking

  14. and all that informal

    • and similar or associated things; et cetera: coffee, tea, and all that will be served in the garden

    • used as a filler or to make what precedes more vague: in this sense, it often occurs with concessive force: she was sweet and pretty and all that, but I still didn't like her

  15. as all that as one might expect or hope: she's not as pretty as all that, but she has personality

  16. at all

    • (used with a negative or in a question) in any way whatsoever or to any extent or degree: I didn't know that at all

    • even so; anyway: I'm surprised you came at all

  17. be all for informal to be strongly in favour of

  18. be all that informal, mainly US to be exceptionally good, talented, or attractive

  19. for all

    • in so far as; to the extent that: for all anyone knows, he was a baron

    • notwithstanding: for all my pushing, I still couldn't move it

  20. for all that in spite of that: he was a nice man for all that

  21. in all altogether: there were five of them in all

  1. (in scores of games) apiece; each: the score at half time was three all

  2. completely: all alone

  1. be all … informal used for emphasis when introducing direct speech or nonverbal communication: he was all, 'I'm not doing that'

  1. (preceded by my, your, his, etc) (one's) complete effort or interest: to give your all; you are my all

  2. totality or whole

Origin of all

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

Other words from all

  • Related prefixes: pan-, panto-

British Dictionary definitions for all- (2 of 2)


combining form
  1. a variant of allo-

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with 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

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