The Alternative English Dictionary: all

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Entry definition

all {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • (UK) /ɔːl/
  • (US) /ɔl/
  • (cot-caught) [ɑɫ]
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{homophones}}
etymology From Middle English, from Old English eall, from Proto-Germanic *allaz, from Proto-Indo-European *al-. Cognate with Western Frisian al, Dutch al, German all, Swedish all, Icelandic allur, Welsh oll, Irish uile, Lithuanian aliái, Albanian lloj.
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. (degree) intensifier. You’ve got it all wrong. She was all, “Whatever.”
  2. Apiece; each. The score was 30 all when the rain delay started.
    • 1878, Gerard Manley Hopkins, His locks like all a ravel-rope’s-end, With hempen strands in spray
  3. (degree) So much. Don't want to go? All the better since I lost the tickets.
  4. (dialect, Pennsylvania) All gone; dead. The butter is all.
  5. (obsolete, poetic) even; just
    • Spenser All as his straying flock he fed.
    • Gay A damsel lay deploring / All on a rock reclined.
Synonyms: completely
determiner: {{en-det}}
  1. Every individual or anything of the given class, with no exceptions (the noun or noun phrase denoting the class must be plural or uncountable). exampleAll contestants must register at the scorer’s table.  All flesh is originally grass.  All my friends like classical music. All contestants must register at the scorer’s table.  All flesh is originally grass.  All my friends like classical music.〉
    • {{RQ:WBsnt IvryGt}} In former days every tavern of repute kept such a room for its own select circle, a club, or society, of habitués, who met every evening, for a pipe and a cheerful glass. In this way all respectable burgesses, down to fifty years ago, spent their evenings.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, 1 , [ Mr. Pratt's Patients], 1 , “Pretty soon I struck into a sort of path{{nb...}}. It twisted and turned,…and opened out into a big clear space like a lawn. And, back of the lawn, was a big, old-fashioned house, with piazzas stretching in front of it, and all blazing with lights.”
  2. Throughout the whole of (a stated period of time; generally used with units of a day or longer). exampleThe store is open all day and all night. (= through the whole of the day and the whole of the night.) exampleI’ve been working on this all year. 〈I’ve been working on this all year.〉 (= from the beginning of the year until now.)
  3. Everyone. exampleA good time was had by all.
  4. Everything. examplesome 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.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill (novelist) , The Celebrity, 3 , “Now all this was very fine, but not at all in keeping with the Celebrity's character as I had come to conceive it. The idea that adulation ever cloyed on him was ludicrous in itself. In fact I thought the whole story fishy, and came very near to saying so.”
  5. (obsolete) Any.
    • William Shakespeare (c.1564–1616) without all remedy
  6. Only; alone; nothing but. exampleHe's all talk; he never puts his ideas into practice.
    • William Shakespeare (c.1564–1616) I was born to speak all mirth and no matter.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (with a possessive pronoun) Everything possible. She gave her all, and collapsed at the finish line.
  2. (countable) The totality of one's possessions.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, Folio Society 1973, pp. 37-8: she therefore ordered Jenny to pack up her alls and begone, for that she was determined she should not sleep that night within her walls.
related terms: {{rel-top}}
  • albeit
  • almighty
  • almost
  • already
  • alright
  • also
  • although
  • altogether
  • always
conjunction: {{en-con}}
  1. (obsolete) although
    • {{rfdate}} Spenser All they were wondrous loth.
  • {{rank}}

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