The Alternative English Dictionary: all right

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Entry definition

all right Alternative forms: alright pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /ˌɔːlˈraɪt/
  • {{audio}},{{audio}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Good; in acceptable, if not excellent condition. exampleThe car is all right. It gets me there, anyway.
  2. In good health, unharmed.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, The China Governess , 20, , “‘No. I only opened the door a foot and put my head in. The street lamps shine into that room. I could see him. He was all right. Sleeping like a great grampus. Poor, poor chap.’”
    exampleI had a headache earlier, but now I'm all right.
The comparative form "more all right" is used, but rarely. An example would be where another speaker had used the phrase "all right" and repeating it and extending it enhanced the continuity of the conversation. I didn't feel all right earlier today, so I took a power-nap. Now I feel even more all right than I normally do.
adverb: all right
  1. fairly well That went all right, I suppose.
  2. (informal) Most certainly; for sure. You taught them a lesson all right! They won't be back.
interjection: all right!
  1. Used to affirm, indicate agreement, or consent. All right, let's go then.
  2. Used to indicate support, favor or encouragement. All right! They scored!
  3. Used to fill space or pauses. All right, so what you suggest we do next?
  4. Used as a general lead-in or beginning. All right, let's get started.
  5. Used to express exasperation or frustration, often with already. All right, already! Let me finish what I was doing first, and then we can talk.
  6. (UK, informal) Term of greeting, equivalent to how are you or hello. All right, mate, how are things with you and the missus?
  • All right can also be used in the literal sense of "everything correct": He answered the questions quickly, and he got them all right.
  • The inflection and emphasis may vary depending upon what meaning is intended (compare the two US audio pronunciations).
  • The spelling alright (by analogy with "already", "altogether", etc) is nonstandard but in widespread use (as of 29 May 2012, having 209,000,000 hits on Google in comparison to 320,000,000 for "all right", although some of the hits for "all right" will be in the sense of "all correct" described in the note above).

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