[awl-tuh-geth-er, awl-tuh-geth-er]


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

Synonyms for altogether

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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for altogether

Contemporary Examples of altogether

Historical Examples of altogether

  • There was a scar on one cheek, and, altogether, he was not very prepossessing in his appearance.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

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

  • The natives met with were friendly, but to us altogether unintelligible.

  • She was thus extremely unreasonable and altogether charming.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

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

British Dictionary definitions for altogether



with everything includedaltogether he owed me sixty pounds
completely; utterly; totallyhe was altogether mad
on the wholealtogether it was a very good party


in the altogether informal 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

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