all

1 of 4

adjective

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
: every member or individual component of
all men will go
all five children were present
3
: the whole number or sum of
all the angles of a triangle are equal to two right angles
4
: every
all manner of hardship
5
: any whatever
beyond all doubt
6
: nothing but : only
all work and no play
:
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
dialect : used up : entirely consumed
used especially of food and drink
8
: being more than one person or thing
I don't know who all is coming.

all

2 of 4

adverb

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
obsolete : only, exclusively
3
archaic : just
4
: so much
all the better for it
5
: for each side : apiece
the score is two all

all

3 of 4

pronoun

singular or plural in construction
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
: everybody, everything
gave equal attention to all
that is all

all

4 of 4

noun

: the whole of one's possessions, resources, or energy
gave his all for the cause
Phrases
all the
: as much of … as : as much of a … as
all the home I ever had
all in all
: on the whole : generally
all in all, things might have been worse
and all
: and everything else especially of a kind suggested by a previous context
cards to fill out with … numbers and allSally Quinn
Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of all in a Sentence

Adjective I've been waiting all week to see her. He had to walk all the way home. She works all year round. He'll need all the help he can get. Someone took all the candy. Adverb She has traveled all around the world. This money will be all yours when I die. She had buttons all down the side of her dress. I forgot all about paying the bill. The kids got all excited when they saw Santa Claus. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Once again The six who received more votes – Wallace, Bowen, Kirilenko, Metta World Peace (Ron Artest), Camby and Duncan – again were voted on first or second NBA all-defensive team. The Arizona Republic, 12 Aug. 2023 There is a photo of Spanto by Carlos Jaramillo, standing in front of a waterfall of red satin curtains at the party, looking proud in his all-black suit embellished with traditional Navajo pieces by Thundercloud Jewelry. Julissa James, Los Angeles Times, 13 Sep. 2023 Honigford played all 14 games (two starts) for Michigan last season, including the Fiesta Bowl CFP semifinal at State Farm Stadium and was also selected as an academic All-Big Ten honoree in 2022. Bob McManaman, The Arizona Republic, 1 May 2023 Carter started all 13 games last year and was an All-Big Ten honorable mention after recording 19 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and 12 total quarterback pressures. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, 17 Apr. 2023 Fila Fan For the first Murder Mystery movie, Adam Sandler sported a colorblocked Fila jacket and navy blue polo, while his co-star Jennifer Aniston rocked an all-leather look. Zizi Strater, Peoplemag, 3 Apr. 2023 One thing that is inked into the reality star's calendar: Hosting an all-female event Apr. 7 at this year's Miami Beach Pride. Lanae Brody, Peoplemag, 26 Mar. 2023 Comedian Jo Koy’s comedy Easter Sunday is the first Hollywood movie to star an all-Filipino cast. Melissa Magsaysay, ELLE, 16 Mar. 2023 Ellis opted for one as well, and 2022 Oscar winner Questlove reached for a black bow tie for his all-black ensemble. Ashley Fetters Maloy, Washington Post, 13 Mar. 2023
Adverb
That is nothing to do with the quality and instead all down to how the whisky was marketed back in the day. Mark Littler, Forbes, 29 Feb. 2024 Heading down the gravel road and into the expanse of nature, a world not often glimpsed by many Floridians opens up all around. Ryan Ballogg, Miami Herald, 29 Feb. 2024 Judas Priest, heavy metal’s tireless defenders of the faith, will come screaming for vengeance in bars all around the world next week with a global listening party for their new album, Invincible Shield. Kory Grow, Rolling Stone, 29 Feb. 2024 By now the material feels innately theatrical: Finance is all about the tension between simplicity and complexity, the material and the abstract. Sophia Nguyen, Washington Post, 29 Feb. 2024 Chris from Pulp Fiction, Macey from Budgie’s, and Ray and Kate of the Pool Hall [now the Pleasant] were all immensely helpful. Jesse Locke, SPIN, 29 Feb. 2024 Likely, these former Pac-12 teams will all continue to play well. Susan M. Shaw, Forbes, 17 Feb. 2024 Governments in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore are all considering or have implemented new policies to encourage families to have children. Lionel Lim, Fortune Asia, 16 Feb. 2024 Affleck’s love affair with Dunkin’ started as a meme, and now Dunkin’ is leaning into the internet of it all more and more. Li Goldstein, Bon Appétit, 16 Feb. 2024
Noun
Or, use them as a catch-all for things like napkins and tablecloths. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, 21 Dec. 2022 The Ultimate Controller, Pro 2, and Lite SE aren't so much meant as retro controllers as just good all-arounders, and so that's welcome for folks who enjoy games on Apple Arcade and the like. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, 20 Mar. 2023 And, Celent said, ISO 20022 doesn’t have to be an all or nothing choice. Tom Groenfeldt, Forbes, 22 Feb. 2023 Freidrich warns against the assumption that cloud seeding could be a cure-all for western water issues. Gabe Allen, Discover Magazine, 27 Oct. 2021 Billy Simon thinks a higher unemployment rate may be the cure-all for inflation. Prarthana Prakash, Fortune, 30 Jan. 2023 Ingles won’t be the cure-all for their offensive woes, but his further integration into the offense can be an ingredient in the medicine. Brian Sampson, Forbes, 10 Jan. 2023 Kitchen drawer organizers are great for cutlery and utensils, serving spoons and forks, spatulas and other kitchen tools, and as a great catch-all for any of the smaller things that end up in the kitchen. Katie Melynn, Peoplemag, 12 Jan. 2023 Louisiana also wrote its own staffing rules, but more nursing homes there fail to meet expectations, suggesting that state rules are not a cure-all if they are not enforced. USA Today, 1 Dec. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'all.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

Middle English al, all, alle, going back to Old English eall (West Saxon), all (Anglian), going back to Germanic *alla- (whence also Old Frisian al, alle "the whole of," Old Saxon all, Old High German al, all, Old Norse allr, Gothic alls), probably going back to *al-no- or *ol-no-, derivative of a base *ala-/*ola- seen in compounds (as Old English ælmihtig almighty entry 1, Old Saxon alohwīt "completely white," Old High German alawāri "quite true," Gothic alabrunsts "burnt offering," calque of Greek holokaútōma), of uncertain origin

Note: Both the correct repertoire of comparable forms and a valid Indo-European reconstruction have been subjects of dispute. Perhaps directly comparable to Germanic *ol-no- is Welsh oll, holl "the whole, all" (with h- of secondary origin); the same base might be present in Old Irish uile "all, every," if going back to *ol-i̯o-. (Old Irish oll "great, ample" is probably not related.) Outside of Germanic and Celtic other comparisons have been suggested, as Oscan allo "whole, entire" and Lithuanian aliái (in aliái víenas "all, everyone"). As an Indo-European reconstruction, Kroonen (Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Germanic) proposes *h2el-nó- for Germanic and *h2ol-i̯o- for Old Irish uile, though the assumption of ablaut seems arbitrary. Whatever the ultimate origin, an etymon restricted to western (European) Indo-European.

Adverb

Middle English al, all, going back to Old English all, representing adverbial uses of the quantifier all entry 1

Pronoun

Middle English al, all, going back to Old English all, pronominal use of the quantifier all entry 1

Noun

nominal use of the pronoun all entry 3

First Known Use

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adverb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Pronoun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1593, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of all was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near all

Cite this Entry

“All.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/all. Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

all

1 of 3 adjective
1
a
: the whole of
sat up all night
b
: as much as possible
in all seriousness
2
: every one of
all students can go
3
: any whatever
beyond all doubt

all

2 of 3 adverb
1
: wholly, altogether
sat all alone
all across the country
2
: so much
all the better for it
3
: for each side : apiece
the score is two all

all

3 of 3 pronoun
1
a
: the whole number, quantity, or amount
all that I have
all of us
b
used in such phrases as for all I know, for all I care, and for all the good it does to show a lack of knowledge, interest, or effectiveness
2
: everyone, everything
known to all
sacrificed all for love

Medical Definition

ALL

abbreviation
acute lymphoblastic leukemia; acute lymphocytic leukemia

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