A to Z

noun \ ¦ā-tə-ˈzē \
variants: or less commonly A-Z

Definition of A to Z

1 or less commonly A to Z's : the full range of fundamental knowledge relating to some subject or activity
  • They learn the A to Z of life, or at least work, on a farm, including agricultural mechanics, carpentry, building, welding, surveying, soil sampling and fertilizing.
  • —William LabbeeMiami Herald26 Feb. 1989
  • … attendees will have an opportunity to speak with angel investors, learn the A to Z's of raising capital, watch two deal reviews and learn what it takes to get investor attention.
  • Business Wire24 Sept. 2008
  • Learn the A-Z of buying a home.
  • Asheville Citizen-Times15 Dec. 2003
2 : a book or similar resource containing comprehensive information on a particular subject arranged usually in alphabetical order
  • The book is an A to Z of baseball.
  • Written as an A-to-Z manual, it covers topics from acne and eczema to sun protection and vitiligo.
  • —Julia ChanceEssenceJuly 2004
  • … an interactive A-Z for pensions, with the aim of creating the “most useful source of pension links and definitions anywhere to be found on the web.”
  • Pensions Week17 May 2010
from A to Z
1 : from beginning to end
  • At seven, I also make a vow to become a ballerina, to read every page of the Encyclopædia Britannica from A to Z, to ice-skate, and to meet the Bay City Rollers.
  • —Monique TruongGourmetSeptember 2008
  • … planning a vacation from A to Z on the Internet can be daunting and time-consuming, since there are a multitude of sites devoted to travel.
  • —Diane Bair et al.ParentingJune/July 2000
: including everything
  • From A to Z, it took seven years to do.
  • —David Brinkley, in U.S. News & World Report25 Apr. 1988
2 : in every particular : in every way : in all aspects
  • The new health care reform act will affect how Medicare operates from A to Z.
  • —Mike SmithBenefits SellingMay 2010
  • This just seems a year when the Red Sox are mismatched from A to Z.
  • —Kevin KernanNew York Post18 May 2010

There's more!

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!
Already a subscriber? Log in.

First Known Use of a to z

1899


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

sticky or viscid

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!