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

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First Known Use of a to z


in the meaning defined at sense 1

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a downward inclination or slope

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