Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Being or representing the entire or total number, amount, or quantity: All the windows are open. Deal all the cards. See Synonyms at whole.
  • adj. Constituting, being, or representing the total extent or the whole: all Christendom.
  • adj. Being the utmost possible of: argued the case in all seriousness.
  • adj. Every: got into all manner of trouble.
  • adj. Any whatsoever: beyond all doubt.
  • adj. Pennsylvania Finished; used up: The apples are all. See Regional Note at gum band.
  • adj. Informal Being more than one: Who all came to the party? See Regional Note at you-all.
  • n. The whole of one's fortune, resources, or energy; everything one has: The brave defenders gave their all.
  • pro. The entire or total number, amount, or quantity; totality: All of us are sick. All that I have is yours.
  • pro. Everyone; everything: justice for all.
  • adv. Wholly; completely: a room painted all white; directions that were all wrong.
  • adv. Each; apiece: a score of five all.
  • adv. So much: I am all the better for that experience.
  • idiom all along From the beginning; throughout: saw through the disguise all along.
  • idiom all but Nearly; almost: all but crying with relief.
  • idiom all in Tired; exhausted.
  • idiom all in all Everything being taken into account: All in all, the criticism seemed fair.
  • idiom all of Informal Not more than: a conversation that took all of five minutes.
  • idiom all one Of no difference; immaterial: Whether we go out or stay in, it's all one to me.
  • idiom all out With all one's strength, ability, or resources.
  • idiom all that Informal To the degree expected.
  • idiom all there Mentally unimpaired or competent.
  • idiom all the same Notwithstanding; nevertheless.
  • idiom all the same Of no difference, immaterial.
  • idiom all told With everything considered; in all: All told, we won 100 games.
  • idiom and all And other things of the same type: "The only thing they seemed to have in common was their cowboy gear, ten-gallon hats and all” ( Edward Chen).
  • idiom at all In any way: unable to walk at all.
  • idiom at all To any extent; whatever: not at all sorry.
  • idiom be all Informal To say or utter. Used chiefly in verbal narration: He's all, "What did you do that for?”
  • idiom in all Considering everything; all together: In all, it rained for two hours. I bought four hats, in all.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adv. intensifier.
  • adv. Apiece; each.
  • adv. So much.
  • Every individual or anything of the given class, with no exceptions (the noun or noun phrase denoting the class must be plural or uncountable).
  • Throughout the whole of (a stated period of time; generally used with units of a day or longer).
  • Everyone.
  • Everything.
  • n. Everything possible.
  • n. The totality of one's possessions.
  • conj. although

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. The whole quantity, extent, duration, amount, quality, or degree of; the whole; the whole number of; any whatever; every
  • adj. Any.
  • adj. Only; alone; nothing but.
  • adv. Wholly; completely; altogether; entirely; quite; very
  • adv. Even; just. (Often a mere intensive adjunct.)
  • n. The whole number, quantity, or amount; the entire thing; everything included or concerned; the aggregate; the whole; totality; everything or every person.
  • conj. Although; albeit.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • The whole quantity of, with reference to substance, extent, duration, amount, or degree: with a noun in the singular, chiefly such nouns (proper names, names of substances, abstract nouns—any whole or any part regarded in itself as a whole) as from their meaning or particular use do not in such use admit of a plural: as, all Europe; all Homer; all flesh; all control; all history.
  • The whole number of, with reference to individuals or particulars, taken collectively: with a noun in the plural: as, all men; all nations; all metals; all hopes; all sciences; all days.
  • Every: chiefly with kind, sort, manner, and formerly with thing.
  • Any; any whatever: after a preposition or verb implying negation or exclusion: as, beyond all controversy; out of all question; he was free from all thought of danger.
  • Only; alone.
  • When joined to nouns accompanied by a definitive (the definite article, a possessive or demonstrative pronoun, etc.), all precedes the latter whether with a singular or plural noun, or else follows the noun if it is plural; as, all my labor; all his goods; all this time; all these things; all the men agreed to this, or, the men all agreed to this. In the phrases all day, all night, all summer, all winter, all the year, all the time, etc., the noun is an adverbial accusative. In the first four the article is usually omitted.
  • When joined to a personal or relative pronoun in the plural, all may precede, but now usually follows, the pronoun.
  • The alternative construction is all of us, all of them, etc. (see II., 2); or the two constructions may stand together.
  • The adjective all, with a singular or plural noun, is often separated from its subject, especially by the verb be (expressed, or in the present participle often omitted), and, being thus apparently a part of the predicate, assumes a transitional position, and may equally well be regarded as an adverb, meaning altogether, wholly: as, the house was all dark; he was all ears; the poor horse was all skin and bones; the papers were all in confusion; it was all a mistake; it is all gone.
  • The whole quantity or amount; the whole; the aggregate; the total: in a singular sense.
  • The whole number; every individual or particular, taken collectively; especially, all men or all people: in a plural sense.
  • All, in either of the preceding uses, is often followed by a limiting phrase with of.
  • Everything: as, is that all? that is all.
  • Altogether; wholly.
  • In every way; altogether; wholly.
  • In any degree; in any degree whatever; in the least degree; for any reason; on any consideration: as, I was surprised at his coming at all.
  • In any way; to any extent; of any kind or character: in negative, interrogative, or conditional clauses (compare I., 4): as, he was not at all disturbed; did you hear anything at all? if you hear anything at all, let me know; no offense at all.
  • Notwithstanding; in spite of (the thing or fact mentioned): followed by an object noun or pronoun or an object clause with that, which is often omitted: as, for all that, the fact remains the same; you may do so for all (that) I care, or for all me. See for.
  • In whole: as, in part or in all.
  • etc., in certain games, means that all (or merely both) the players or sides have two, three, etc., points.
  • n. A whole; an entirety; a totality of things or qualities. The All is used for the universe.
  • n. One's whole interest, concern, or property: usually with a possessive pronoun: as, she has given her all.
  • Wholly; entirely; completely; altogether; quite. In this use common with adverbs of degree, especially too: as, he arrived all too late.
  • [From the frequent Middle English use of all in this sense before verbs with the prefix to- (see to-, to-break, to-cut, to-tear, etc.), that prefix, when no longer felt as such, came to be attached to the adverb, all to or alto being regarded as an adverbial phrase or word, and sometimes improperly used, in later English, with verbs having originally no claim to the prefix.
  • Even; just: at first emphatic or intensive.
  • With conjunctions if and though, in conditional and concessive clauses: If all, though all, or reversely, all if, all though, even if, even though. These forms are obsolete, except the last, which is now written as one word, although (which see).
  • [When the verb in such clauses, according to a common subjunctive construction, was placed before the subject, the conjunction if or though might be omitted, leaving all as an apparent conjunction, in the sense of even if, although; especially in the formula al be, as al be it, al be it that, al be that (now albe, albeit, which see).
  • With conjunction as: All as. Just when; when; as.
  • As if.
  • Only; exclusively.
  • From end to end; in bookbinding, (sewed) in such a manner that the thread passes from end to end of each section, At full length.
  • too close to the wind: said of a vessel so brought up into the wind that the sails shake.
  • entirely; completely; quite.
  • Used especially with drink (see carouse).
  • Thoroughly; entirely: as, “Dombey and Son” is Dickens all over.
  • Indisposed; generally ill; having an all-overish feeling.
  • All past; entirely ceased: as, that is all over.
  • to all that extent; so much: as, all the better; all the fitter; all the sooner. See the.
  • [All, in composition, sometimes forms a true compound, as in almighty, already, always, algates, but usually stands, with or sometimes without a hyphen, in loose combination, retaining a syntactic relation, either as adjective, as in All-hallows, All-saints, allspice; as noun, either in genitive plural, as in all-father, or in accusative as direct object, as in all-giver, all-seer, all-heal, particularly with present participles having all as object (though originally in many cases all was adverbial), as in all-healing, all-seeing, all-pervading, etc.; or as adverb, either with a noun (in the transitional construction mentioned under all, a., I., at end), as in all-bone, all-mouth, all-rail, all-wool, or with almost any adjective that admits of rhetorical sweep, as in all-perfect, all-powerful, all-wise, all-glorious, all-important.]

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adv. to a complete degree or to the full or entire extent (`whole' is often used informally for `wholly')
  • adj. completely given to or absorbed by
  • adj. quantifier; used with either mass or count nouns to indicate the whole number or amount of or every one of a class

Etymologies

Middle English al, from Old English eall; see al-3 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Old English eall ("all, every, entire, whole, universal"), from Proto-Germanic *allaz, *alnaz (“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"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • We all know that when we say "Men are animals," a form wholly unquantified in phrase, we speak of _all_ men, but not of all animals: it is _some or all_, some may be all for aught the proposition says.

    A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume I (of II)

  • Also, the universities should be allowed to offer as many scholarships as they want — but the caveat is that the entering players *all* are in the upper 50% of the class with SAT and GPA, and not simply the average of all the sports, etc.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Against the NCAA Cartel

  • Cue to last fall, when all the apartment owners in the low rise buildings on the North Road side found out that the big concrete beams of the guideway would cut 50% of their view on the 2nd floor and all of it on the 3rd floor…not to mention that the resale value will go down a lot..all of a sudden a tram looked good..

    Bond shies away from major TransLink reforms « Stephen Rees's blog

  • Yes, we all have to put in work, but we * all* put in work, and as much as possible in equal measures.

    Screw Community

  • The answer to all this is Clinton will need to get approximately 235 of the remaining 268 superdelegates, or 90% of * all* the remaining superdelegates for her to get nominated on the first ballot.

    In Private Pep-Talk To Top Donors, Hillary Predicts: "We're Gonna Win This"

  • Problem is, short of erecting a magic barrier that vaporizes all guns upon entering the city limits, how do you propose to enforce such a ban, in such a way that denies *all* people access to guns, not just the law-abiding?

    A New Concept for Gun Control

  • October 19, 2009 at 4:48 am good god, man, you of all people deserve a spell…..all work and no play maketh jeff a dull boy…..

    Reaching a Point of Rest

  • Not to mention all the humor potential *another* gay Arabic translator - are they *all* gay?

    What, Exactly, Is The Gay Agenda? And What Part Should Repeal Of The Defense of Marriage Act Play In It?

  • Freddy: No, it's the ironing..all the men I have every enjoyed being with all enjoy ironing.

    2009: Why it was a brilliant year

  • I will reiterate Muslims love killing Muslims more than anyone, and philosophies of radicalism, puritanism, created the monsters of Terrorism in Islam..thereby destroying all that we stand for..all that we hold upright as Brotherhood and Peace..

    Archive 2009-07-01

Comments

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  • "USAGE NOTE: The construction all that is used informally in questions and negative sentences to mean 'to the degree expected,' as in I know it won an Oscar, but the film is not all that exciting. In an earlier survey, the Usage Panel rejected the use of this construction in formal writing. · 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. If the first meaning is intended, it can be unambiguously expressed by the sentence Not all of the departments filed a report. If the second meaning is intended, a paraphrase such as None of the departments filed a report or All of the departments failed to file a report can be used. Note that the same problem can arise with other universal terms like every in negated sentences, as in the ambiguous Every department did not file a report. See Usage Note at every."

    --The American Heritage Dictionary

    September 17, 2010

  • ALL - (noun) - A petroleum-based lubricant.
    Usage: "I sure hope my brother from Jawjuh puts all in my pickup truck."

    April 8, 2008

  • See oil.

    November 1, 2007