Share this entry

Share this page

be all things to all men (or people)

Definition of be all things to all men or people in English:

1Please everyone, typically by regularly altering one’s behavior or opinions in order to conform to those of others.
Example sentences
  • Of course, just as SAC cannot be all things to all people, the cultural strategy will not please everyone or meet all needs.
  • Simply put, like the Toronto event, it is expected to be all things to all people.
  • It was a superb attempt to be all things to all men that culminated in a result that made everyone happy.
1.1Be able to be interpreted or used differently by different people to their own satisfaction.
Example sentences
  • You may not be able to be all things to all people, but when it comes to dairy packaging, the industry is sure trying.
  • It is trying to be all things to all people, while selling upmarket food.
  • ‘You're asking a piece of wood to be all things to all people,’ he says.
See parent entry: thing

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day peart
Pronunciation: pɪət
adjective
lively; cheerful