- The definition of all is the entire amount.
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet are an example of all the colors of the rainbow.
These swatches represent all the colors.
- the whole extent or quantity of: all New England, all the gold
- the entire number of: all the men went
- every one of: all men must eat
- the greatest possible; as much as possible: said in all sincerity
- any; any whatever: true beyond all question
- every: now used only in such phrases as all manner of men
- alone; only: life is not all pleasure
- seeming to be nothing but: he was all arms and legs
- ☆ Dialectal completely used up, consumed, over with, etc.: the bread is all
Origin of allMiddle English al, all ; from Old English eal ; from Indo-European an unverified form al-no-s ; from base an unverified form al-, an unverified form ol-, beyond, exceeding from source Classical Latin ultra
- everyone: all must die
- every one: all of us are here; all of the pencils are sharpened
- everything; the whole thing, matter, situation, etc.: all is over between them
- every part or bit: all of it is gone
- one's whole property, effort, etc.: gave his all
- a totality; whole
- wholly; entirely; altogether; quite: all worn out, riding all through the night
- apiece: a score of thirty all
- all except
- nearly; almost
all in all
- considering everything
- as a whole
- everywhere; in or on every part of; throughout
- Informal as one characteristically is: that's Mary all over
all the better (or worse)
all the farther (or closer, etc.)
all the same
- of no importance
as all get-outor like all get-out☆
- in the least; to the slightest degree
- in any way
- under any considerations
- wholly, entirely, or exclusively: all-American
- for every: all-purpose
- of everything or every part: all-inclusive
- lasting throughout (a specified period): all-night
Origin of all-all-(American)Sports selected as the best of (a specified category): all-league, all-conference, all-pro
- Being or representing the entire or total number, amount, or quantity: All the windows are open. Deal all the cards. See Synonyms at whole.
- Constituting, being, or representing the total extent or the whole: all Christendom.
- Being the utmost possible of: argued the case in all seriousness.
- Every: got into all manner of trouble.
- Any whatsoever: beyond all doubt.
- Pennsylvania Consumed; used up; gone: The apples are all.
- Informal Being more than one: Who all came to the party? See Note at y'all.
- The entire or total number, amount, or quantity; totality: All of us are sick. All that I have is yours.
- Everyone; everything: justice for all.
- a. Wholly; completely: a room painted all white.b. So much: I am all the better for that experience.c. Used as an intensive: Then he got all mad and left.
- Each; apiece: a score of five all.
Origin of allMiddle English al, from Old English eall; see al-3 in Indo-European roots. Usage Note: The construction all that is used informally in questions and negative sentences to mean “to the degree expected.” In the late 1960s, the Usage Panel rejected its use, but evidently resistance to all that is crumbling. In our 1997 survey, 72 percent of the Panel found the construction acceptable in the sentence The movie is not all that interesting. • Sentences of the form All X's are not Y may be ambiguous. All of the departments did not file a report may mean that some departments did not file, or that none did. The first meaning can be expressed unambiguously by the sentence Not all of the departments filed a report. The second meaning can be more clearly phrased as None of the departments filed a report or All of the departments failed to file a report. The same problem can arise with other universal terms such as every in negated sentences, as in the ambiguous Every department did not file a report. See Usage Note at every.Word History: In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, groups of immigrants from southwestern Germany, Alsace, and Switzerland settled in Pennsylvania. The groups spoke closely related dialects of German that eventually merged into a new, distinctly American variety of German that came to be known as Pennsylvania Dutch. (The word Dutch in this expression comes from Deitsch, the Pennsylvania German equivalent of Deutsch, the standard German word for “German.” The spelling of the word as Dutch has undoubtedly been influenced by the English word Dutch. English Dutch comes from the Middle Dutch word Dūtsch, meaning “Dutch” or “German,” that is the Dutch equivalent of the German word Deutsch.) Pennsylvania Dutch, which is still spoken in some communities in Pennsylvania today—notably by the Amish—has contributed a number of words to American English, including dunk, hex, smearcase, snollygoster, spritz, and perhaps snickerdoodle. The dialect has also left other traces in the grammar and usage of English in Pennsylvania. For instance, in German, the word alle, literally meaning “all,” can be used idiomatically to mean “all gone, used up, at an end.” The standard German sentence Der Kaffee ist alle (word for word, “The coffee is all”) means “The coffee is all gone” or “The coffee has been used up,” for example. Some Pennsylvanians, too, may say The coffee is all to mean “The coffee is all gone”—the use of the English word all to mean “all gone” reflects the influence of Pennsylvania Dutch and reminds us of the days when many Pennsylvanians were bilingual in English and Pennsylvania Dutch and would switch back and forth between them in their daily lives.
- (degree) intensifier.
- You’ve got it all wrong.
- She was all, “Whatever.”
- Apiece; each.
- The score was 30 all when the rain delay started.
- (degree) So much.
- Don't want to go? All the better since I lost the tickets.
- (dialect, Pennsylvania) All gone; dead.
- The butter is all.
- A damsel lay deploring / All on a rock reclined.
- Every individual or anything of the given class, with no exceptions (the noun or noun phrase denoting the class must be plural or uncountable).
- All contestants must register at the scorer’s table. All flesh is grass. All my friends like classical music.
- Throughout the whole of (a stated period of time; generally used with units of a day or longer).
- The store is open all day and all night. (= The store is open throughout the whole of the day and the whole of the night.)
- I’ve been working on this all year. (= I've been working from the beginning of the year until now.)
- A good time was had by all.
- some gave all they had; she knows all and sees all; Those who think they know it all are annoying to those of us who do.
(countable and uncountable, plural alls)
- (with a possessive pronoun) Everything possible.
- She gave her all, and collapsed at the finish line.
- (countable) The totality of one's possessions.
- (obsolete) although
From Middle English, from Old English eall (“all, every, entire, whole, universal”), from Proto-Germanic *allaz (“all, whole, every”), from Proto-Indo-European *al- (“all”). Cognate with West Frisian al (“all”), Dutch al (“all”), German all (“all”), Swedish all (“all”), Icelandic allur (“all”), Welsh oll (“all”), Irish uile (“all”), Lithuanian aliái (“all, each, every”), Albanian lloj (“type, sort, variegated”).