Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


adjective \ˈȯl\

Simple Definition of all

  • : the whole, entire, total amount, quantity, or extent of

  • : every member or part of

  • : the whole number or sum of

Full Definition of all

  1. 1 a :  the whole amount, quantity, or extent of <needed all the courage they had> <sat up all night> b :  as much as possible <spoke in all seriousness>

  2. 2 :  every member or individual component of <all men will go> <all five children were present>

  3. 3 :  the whole number or sum of <all the angles of a triangle are equal to two right angles>

  4. 4 :  every <all manner of hardship>

  5. 5 :  any whatever <beyond all doubt>

  6. 6 :  nothing but :  only: a :  completely taken up with, given to, or absorbed by <became all attention> b :  having or seeming to have (some physical feature) in conspicuous excess or prominence <all legs> c :  paying full attention with <all ears>

  7. 7 dial :  used up :  entirely consumed —used especially of food and drink

  8. 8 :  being more than one person or thing <who all is coming>

all the
  1. :  as much of … as :  as much of a … as <all the home I ever had>

Examples of all

  1. I've been waiting all week to see her.

  2. He had to walk all the way home.

  3. She works all year round.

  4. He'll need all the help he can get.

  5. Someone took all the candy.

Origin of all

Middle English all, al, from Old English eall; akin to Old High German all all

First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of all

whole, entire, total, all mean including everything or everyone without exception. whole implies that nothing has been omitted, ignored, abated, or taken away <read the whole book>. entire may suggest a state of completeness or perfection to which nothing can be added <the entire population was wiped out>. total implies that everything has been counted, weighed, measured, or considered <the total number of people present>. all may equal whole, entire, or total <all proceeds go to charity>.




Simple Definition of all

  • : entirely or completely

  • : for each side or player

Full Definition of all

  1. 1 a :  wholly, quite <sat all alone> —often used as an intensive <all out of proportion> <all over the yard> <it wasn't all that funny> b :  selected as the best (as at a sport) within an area or organization —used in combination <all-league halfback>

  2. 2 obsolete :  only, exclusively

  3. 3 archaic :  just

  4. 4 :  so much <all the better for it>

  5. 5 :  for each side :  apiece <the score is two all>

Examples of all

  1. She has traveled all around the world.

  2. This money will be all yours when I die.

  3. She had buttons all down the side of her dress.

  4. I forgot all about paying the bill.

  5. The kids got all excited when they saw Santa Claus.

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of all

before 12th century



pronoun, singular or plural in construction

Definition of all

  1. 1 a :  the whole number, quantity, or amount :  totality <all that I have> <all of us> <all of the books> b —used in such phrases as for all I know, for all I care, and for all the good it does to indicate a lack of knowledge, interest, or effectiveness

  2. 2 :  everybody, everything <gave equal attention to all> <that is all>

all in all
  1. :  on the whole :  generally <all in all, things might have been worse>

and all
  1. :  and everything else especially of a kind suggested by a previous context <cards to fill out with … numbers and all — Sally Quinn>

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of all

before 12th century




Definition of all

  1. :  the whole of one's possessions, resources, or energy <gave his all for the cause>


First Known Use of all



combining form

Simple Definition of all-

  • : entirely : completely

  • : including everything

  • : selected as the best at something (such as a sport) within an area or organization

Full Definition of all-

  1. 1 :  other :  different :  atypical <allogamous> <allotropy>

  2. 2 allo- :  isomeric form or variety of (a specified chemical compound) <allopurinol>

  3. 3 allo- :  being one of a group whose members together constitute a structural unit especially of a language <allophone>

Examples of all-

  1. Her all-consuming passion was music.

Variants of all-

or allo-

Origin of all-

Greek, from allos other — more at else

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up all? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 12, 2016

of, relating to, or suggestive of marble

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

2.2 pounds 100 pounds 196.5 pounds 16.96 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.