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at all

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1

In any way or manner, as in Is she able to sing at all?

2

To any extent, as in Was she at all surprised?

3

For any reason, as in Why bother at all?

4

In the slightest degree, under any circumstances, as in She simply refused to walk at all. This construction often occurs in the negative, as in He was not at all frightened. All four senses of this phrase date from the mid-1300s.

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON "WAS" VS. "WERE"!

Were you ready for a quiz on this topic? Well, here it is! See how well you can differentiate between the uses of "was" vs. "were" in this quiz.
Question 1 of 7
“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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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.

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