There are 2 main definitions of all in English:

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all 1

Pronunciation: /ɔːl/

predeterminer, determiner& pronoun

1Used to refer to the whole quantity or extent of a particular group or thing: [as predeterminer]: all the people I met she left all her money to him [as determiner]: 10 per cent of all cars sold he slept all day [as pronoun]: carry all of the blame we all have different needs
More example sentences
  • I wipe it against the other finger tips and suddenly all of them are all white paint.
  • Also to all of you dedicated people who have supported June all year a big thank you.
  • All of these can all be found in the granite-gneiss basement of the central Black Forest.
each of, each one of the, every one of the, every single one of the;
the whole of the, every bit of the, the complete, the entire, the totality of the;
everyone, everybody, each/every person, the (whole) lot
each one, each thing, the sum, the total, the whole lot
everything, every part, the whole amount, the total amount, the (whole) lot, the entirety, the sum total, the aggregate
1.1 [determiner] Any whatever: he denied all knowledge of it
More example sentences
  • He had denied all knowledge of this appointment a few minutes before.
  • The boxer denied all knowledge of the gun, ammunition and drugs and told police he had been set up.
  • Except that both drivers who plied the route denied all knowledge of the transaction.
1.2 [determiner] Used to emphasize the greatest possible amount of a quality: they were in all probability completely unaware with all due respect
More example sentences
  • With all possible respect to the authors of this proposal, I do not find it very clear.
  • We are making sure they are doing everything in their power to sort things out with all due speed.
  • With all due respect, I think that it is time for your writer to ask of herself why she does it.
1.3 [pronoun, with clause] The only thing (used for emphasis): all I want is to be left alone
More example sentences
  • How much must this cost in time and paperwork, surely all that is required is a police presence?
  • Make any change to the reference period, change the baseline, and all that happens is you create equivalent offsets to the beginning and ending anomaly.
  • I realize it’s a little obscure, but it amused me and that’s all that counts.
1.4 [pronoun] (Used to refer to surroundings or a situation in general) everything: all was well all is not lost yet
More example sentences
  • It all seems a bit strange, especially having only just taken the job at Molineux.
  • Where is the Government in all of this, do they think all is right with the world, do they?
  • On the surface, all is well.


1Completely: dressed all in black she’s been all round the world all by himself
More example sentences
  • But it was scary in court anyway, with everyone all dressed up just like the real thing.
  • He was all dressed up, wearing a suit and a kaffiyeh, he looked really respectable.
  • A woman was at home, all dressed in white, she had her little white pet mouse with her.
1.1 informal Used to emphasize a temporary quality: my ankle’s gone all wobbly he was all of a dither
More example sentences
  • Mummy, there's something wrong with Mary. Her face has gone all funny.
  • A girl in the party on the table next to us suddenly came over all unwell.
  • Seeing you for the first time made me feel all strange.
2(In games) used after a number to indicate an equal score: after extra time it was still two all
More example sentences
  • The junior was on top in the early part of the game only to relax and see her older opponent come back into the game to take the match to two all.
  • Byes will be recorded as 1-all draws and the team will receive 1 pt.
  • This was a game that went basket for basket with the game level at 14 all for some time.



all along

All the time; from the beginning: she’d known all along
More example sentences
  • It's there, maybe it was even there all along because it's so hard to find.
  • I think it goes to show that, perhaps, just perhaps, Bridget was right all along.
  • And then I got two or three more people to explain it to me and it turns out I understood it all along.

all and sundry

Everyone: he has borne a lot of unfair criticism from all and sundry
More example sentences
  • I have exasperated all and sundry and got on everyone's nerves.
  • It's a scam that includes everyone because it has the effect of appearing to benefit all and sundry.
  • When he gets back to Leeside, the unidentified fan will no doubt be showing his classic snap to all and sundry for many years to come.
everyone, everybody, every person, each person, each one, each and every one, all, one and all, the whole world, the world at large, the public, the general public, people everywhere
informal {every Tom, Dick, and Harry}, every man jack, every mother's son

all but

1Very nearly: the subject was all but forgotten
More example sentences
  • She hasn't been on a train for 4 years and that was all but forgotten so she was a bit excited.
  • Tans have been all but forgotten in popular literature, but that suits us just fine.
  • They may be all but forgotten now but that doesn't mean they should not be left in peace.
nearly, almost, just about, about, more or less, practically, virtually, as good as, next to, close to, near, nigh on, not far from, not far off, to all intents and purposes, approaching, bordering on, verging on, nearing;
informal pretty nearly, pretty much, pretty well
literary well-nigh
2All except: we have support from all but one of the networks
More example sentences
  • The plant is easy to grow in sun or partial shade and will tolerate all but chalky soils.
  • It would keep us on our toes and discourage all but those with the most urgent banking business.
  • Those who brandish or discharge firearms in a public place would, in all but the rarest cases, be locked up.

all comers

chiefly informal Anyone who chooses to take part in an activity, typically a competition: the champion took on all comers
More example sentences
  • Brian beat all comers in the competition as fishers from all over Ulster came to Silverbridge to try and catch a big one.
  • Mr Dymond said it was hoped to have displays by professional skaters and bikers with open competitions for all comers to take part in.
  • The Arksorn School has won the competition for the fifth straight year defeating all comers in the competition.

all for

informal Strongly in favour of: I was all for tolerance
More example sentences
  • After speaking a bit, I asked him if he'd be down for an interview, and he was all for it.
  • I'm all for seniors tackling technology with a song in their heart but your kitchen is your kitchen.
  • I am all for recycling, but I don't see how we will gain anything from such a poorly managed scheme.
in favour of, pro, for, giving support to, giving backing to, right behind, encouraging of, approving of, sympathetic to

all get-out


all in

informal Exhausted: he was all in by half-time See also all-in.

all in all

On the whole: all in all it’s been a good year
More example sentences
  • They wreak havoc on our nervous systems and, all in all, make for generally unsavoury experiences.
  • But all in all, I would much rather have been running on the straight.
  • So all in all, they are asking you to close your eyes and believe.
all things considered, considering everything, on the whole, taking everything into consideration/account, at the end of the day, when all's said and done

all kinds (or sorts) of

Many different kinds of: he gets into all kinds of trouble
More example sentences
  • When you get used to all sorts of different bits of kit attached to your body they lose their mystique.
  • I worked at Stockport for five years in all and worked on all sorts of different engines.
  • Stories from all kinds of different cultures have common threads running through them.

all manner of

see manner.

all of

As much as (often used ironically of an amount or quantity considered small by the speaker): the show lasted all of six weeks
More example sentences
  • This moment of Zen lasted all of 30 seconds.
  • That final plan lasted all of about six months.
  • That mood, however, lasted all of five minutes.

all of a sudden

see sudden.

all on

Australian /NZ informal Happening without inhibition or restraint; out of control: a punch is thrown and it’s all on
More example sentences
  • Once I'd stashed my laptop bag behind the bar, it was all on.
  • Two hours and a couple of phone calls later, it's all on.
  • Reading email, newspapers, web sites, books—it's all on.

all out

Pronunciation: /ˈɔːl aʊt/
Using all one’s strength or resources: going all out to win [as adjective]: an all-out effort
More example sentences
  • Now once again the President of the USA is making plans for an all out effort to put a man on Mars.
  • It is not like the Champions League format where you can go all out to win the game.
  • With the win vital to Rossendale, they went on all out attack to try for the much needed goal and the three points.
strenuously, energetically, vigorously, hard, mightily, with all one's might (and main), heartily, with vigour, with great effort, fiercely, intensely, eagerly, enthusiastically, industriously, diligently, assiduously, conscientiously, sedulously, with application, earnestly, with perseverance, persistently, indefatigably
informal like billy-o, like mad, like crazy
strenuous, energetic, vigorous, powerful, potent, forceful, forcible;
spirited, mettlesome, plucky, determined, resolute, aggressive, eager, keen, enthusiastic, zealous, ardent, fervent, vehement, intense, intensive, passionate, fiery;
wild, unrestrained, uncontrolled, unbridled;
tough, blunt, hard-hitting, pulling no punches
informal punchy, in-your-face

all over

Pronunciation: /ˌɔːl ˈəʊvə/
1Completely finished: it’s all over between us
More example sentences
  • Gaughan stretched the lead to nine, a minute later and it seemed all over but Castlerea weren't finished.
  • However, a pal claims that it is all over between them.
  • It's all over between Kate and Pete, as she chucks out her belongings.
2 informal Everywhere: there were bodies all over
More example sentences
  • I radioed in that there was oil all over, but I got through it and we finished in one piece.
  • The past pupils came from all over to join in the celebrations.
2.1With reference to all parts of the body: I was shaking all over
More example sentences
  • My body was shaking all over as I left the room, and I prayed to God I wouldn't trip on the way out.
  • Sweat was beading on his body, he was shaking all over, and he was breathing hard.
  • I'm shaking all over and sweating and my legs feel weak.
3 informal Typical of the person mentioned: that’s our management all over!
More example sentences
  • That's him all over: irreverent, outspoken, outrageously good company.
  • See, that's you all over.
4 informal Effusively attentive to: James was all over her
More example sentences
  • If I were 15 years younger I'd be all over her,' he thought.
  • I went to the party and I had women all over me.
  • Becky, now awake, lived up to her billing for her character and was all over Mike.

all over the place (or North American also map, British also shop)

Everywhere: we’ve been all over the place looking for you
More example sentences
  • Needless to say, the whole thing goes horribly wrong, one thing leads to another and before you know it bodies are dropping all over the place.
  • There were body parts lying all over the place and blood all over the wall.
  • However, for the most part he was having to throw his body all over the place.
16.1In a state of disorder: my hair was all over the place
More example sentences
  • I walk in, socks sopping, hair flopping, dignity all over the place, and explain my dilemma.
  • The business cycle is too complex, and we're seeing the chaotic results all over the place.
  • Secondly, although I had made a stab at categorising them through the use of folders, they really were all over the place and utterly chaotic.

all round

(US all around)
1In all respects: it was a bad day all round
More example sentences
  • Indeed I don't think any of us emerged with any credit on a day which we will have to write off as a bad experience all round.
  • But that was a bad day all round and we never got going, it was backs to the wall the whole time.
  • It is by far the best all round sport and can be done by people of all abilities, young or old.
2For or by each person: drinks all round
More example sentences
  • Satisfied and with a newly acquired tan we also indulged in pitchers of drinks all round and some photo taking.
  • Now it was our turn, with big smiles and handshakes all round as we went through the final safety briefs.
  • This was truly a magnificent display of power rugby by the team and indeed a superb all round team effort.

all's well that ends well

proverb If the outcome of a situation is happy, this compensates for any previous difficulty or unpleasantness.
Example sentences
  • So the punter is now exceedingly happy with his connection, and all's well that ends well.
  • However, all's well that ends well with Joseph reconciling himself with his brothers and a new sister - Jamin.
  • As Shakespeare noted, all's well that ends well, and Warren is going out in style with mordant humor intact and head held high after a decidedly up and down career as a person.

all that ——

see that.

all the same

see same.

all the ——


all there

[usually with negative] informal In full possession of one’s mental faculties: he’s not quite all there
More example sentences
  • There's another wee guy who was not quite all there and he used to go into the record shop and ask for Elvis' latest hit.
  • You're not all there are you Mike? You should think seriously about getting some professional help.
  • He stalks this girl he's in love with, but he's not all there.

all the time

see time.

all together

All in one place or in a group; all at once: they arrived all together Compare with altogether.
More example sentences
  • We all left together and I remember walking all together to the kerb edge.
  • It has been a while since I have had a lot of my friends all together in one place and it proves to be a fantastic night!
  • And yet taken all together there is far more to the loss of these seats than these localised factors.

all told

In total: they tried a dozen times all told
More example sentences
  • Unlike the Smiths, there were probably only a dozen men all told in this group.
  • They have won three out of the last four championships and all told, have won a total of seven.
  • The huge increase in health spending has brought a staff rise of 160,00, with the NHS now employing 1.3 million all told.

all the way

informal Without limit or reservation: I’m with you all the way
More example sentences
  • If the government decides that military action is the way to go, then I will back them all the way.
  • As long as our concerns are left outstanding we will fight this development all the way.
  • The married dad of two is dedicated to the school say colleagues, who back him all the way.

—— and all

Used to emphasize something additional that is being referred to: she threw her coffee over him, mug and all
More example sentences
  • She climbed into her bed, clothes and all, and went to sleep.
  • We don't want to miss the start, so we head to the gig, bags and all, leaving the baffled hotel staff in the dust.
  • He grabbed his plate and hurled it, food and all, against the wall.
informal27.1 As well: get one for me and all
More example sentences
  • I know he still really cares for me and all, but it's like, painful for him to think about other me with other guys.
  • He'd never pick me, being his son and so young and all.

at all

[with negative or in questions] (Used for emphasis) in any way; to any extent: I don’t like him at all
More example sentences
  • He added that people had been advised to avoid the Ashchurch area if at all possible.
  • Most of us would probably want to stay in bed if at all possible and give advice over the phone.
  • One of them is poor to the extent that their parent cannot afford to support them at all.
Irish 28.1 Added at the end of an utterance for emphasis: what is the matter with you at all?
More example sentences
  • What kind of man is he, at all, at all?
  • How is he at all at all?

be all about ——

informal Be focused on or interested in (a particular thing): school has become my refuge and I’m all about being the perfect student
More example sentences
  • In fact, I am all about the love.
  • Flavors, I am all about the flavors, baby.
  • I'm all about making life more convenient.

be all one to

Make no difference to: simple cases or hard cases, it’s all one to me
More example sentences
  • The audience, the organizers, the two presiding media (newspapers and radio), are all one to him.
  • Look, simple cases or hard cases, it's one to me.
  • This is probably doubtful; yet it is all one to me; what she is were nothing to me if she would but go by herself and not talk.

be all that

US informal Be very attractive or good: He thinks he’s all that—Yeah, God’s gift
More example sentences
  • My brother was twenty-three this year; in his last year of college and, because of this, thought he was all that and a bag of chips.
  • Eddy, who thought he was all that, asked Jonas what he got on the test.
  • Vlad and Sheff have been all that and a bag of chips for the teams who signed them as free agents.

be all up with

see up.

be all very well

informal Used to criticize or reject a favourable or consoling remark: your proposal is all very well in theory, but in practice it will not pay
More example sentences
  • It is all very well to criticise that action, but we need to come up with a solution by way of an alternative.
  • That's all very well, of course, but little consolation when the wins stop coming.
  • Expressing regret is all very well, but restitution of those rights is also required.

for all ——

In spite of ——: for all its clarity and style, the book is not easy reading
More example sentences
  • Even my wife, for all her fears of security crackdowns, is urging me to do it.
  • Could it be that Ms Rice, for all her brains, was simply a woman out of step with the times?
  • A dog, for all its admirable and unique qualities, is not a human being and is not treated in the law as such.

in all

In total number; altogether: there were about 5,000 people in all
More example sentences
  • It's just over a mile in all, and I arrive back wheezing for breath but alive and well.
  • There are three flats in all at the address and it seems to be quiet and secluded.
  • There were four tents in all, three for the thirty male soldiers and one for the ten females.

on (or on to) all fours

On (or on to) hands and knees or (of an animal) on all four legs rather than just the hind ones: Frankie scuttled away on all fours
More example sentences
  • The bear dropped back on to all fours and I thought it was going to come at me, kill me.
  • Begin the series by coming on to all fours with the wrists underneath the shoulders and the knees underneath the hips.
  • Many babies pull themselves over on to all fours and start to crawl.

one's all

One’s whole strength or resources: I want to give my all to what I am doing now
More example sentences
  • Mayo fought spiritedly, and gave it their all but the strength, balance and passion which underlines Tyrone football just now told in the end.
  • The only thing I know to do is just give it my all, put my whole heart and soul into the job.
  • The whole cast gave their all, turning from what I gather was a shaky first night earlier in the week into a roaring success.


Old English all, eall, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch al and German all.

  • A little Old English word found in a host of popular phrases. Although associated with the Second World War, the all-clear dates from the very beginning of the 20th century. It refers to a signal such as a siren that indicates enemy aircraft have left the area, making it safe to come out into the open from bomb shelters or other places of refuge. All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others comes from George Orwell's Animal Farm (1945) a satire in which the animals take over the farm, only to find the pigs become even worse masters. All done with mirrors means ‘achieved by trickery or illusion’. One of the earliest examples of the phrase comes from a 1908 play by G. K. Chesterton (1874–1936) called Magic, about a conjuror working out how an effect might be created, but it probably goes back to 19th-century magicians. All human life is there was an advertising slogan used by British tabloid newspaper the News of the World in the 1950s. The phrase had been used earlier by the novelist Henry James (1843–1916) in The Madonna of the Future (1879). A maker of statuettes says of his wares, ‘Cats and monkeys—monkeys and cats—all human life is there!’ The first things to be described as all-singing, all-dancing were film musicals. Posters for Broadway Melody (1929) carried the slogan ‘All Talking All Singing All Dancing’. These days something ‘all-singing, all-dancing’ is generally an advanced computer or other gadget. The proverb all good things must come to an end dates back to the 15th century, usually in the form ‘All things must come to (or have) an end’. The inclusion of the word ‘good’ in the proverb appears to be a 20th-century development. The other ‘all’ proverb, all's well that ends well, is even older and was first recorded in the 14th century as ‘If the end is well, then is all well’.

Words that rhyme with all

appal (US appall), awl, Bacall, ball, bawl, befall, Bengal, brawl, call, caul, crawl, Donegal, drawl, drywall, enthral (US enthrall), fall, forestall, gall, Galle, Gaul, hall, haul, maul, miaul, miscall, Montreal, Naipaul, Nepal, orle, pall, Paul, pawl, Saul, schorl, scrawl, seawall, Senegal, shawl, small, sprawl, squall, stall, stonewall, tall, thrall, trawl, wall, waul, wherewithal, withal, yawl

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There are 2 main definitions of all in English:

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