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. Pronoun a joyous holiday to one and all!
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
President Joe Biden and Democrats nationally have moved swiftly to highlight the ruling, made by an all-Republican court, as evidence of Republicans overstepping on reproductive health care. Jonathan Shorman, Kansas City Star, 28 Feb. 2024 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
Adverb
According to Variety, audiences will watch Siwa navigate her living alone for the first time, managing her recording deal, and juggling several businesses, all while in the public eye. Quispe López, Them, 10 July 2024 The news on the legal front hasn’t been all bad for trans healthcare providers; last month, a federal court judge struck down Florida’s law restricting gender-affirming care for minors and adults. Jireh Deng, Los Angeles Times, 10 July 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 See all Example Sentences for all 

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 22 Jul. 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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