1 of 2


all-Amer·​i·​can ˌȯl-ə-ˈmer-ə-kən How to pronounce all-American (audio)
or less commonly all-America : selected (as by a poll of journalists) as one of the best in the U.S. in a particular category at a particular time
an all-American quarterback
: having only all-American participants
an all-American basketball team
: composed wholly of American elements
: representative or typical of the U.S. or its ideals
an all-American boy
her all-American optimism
: of or relating to the American nations as a group


2 of 2


or less commonly all-America : one (such as an athlete) that is voted all-American
: one that has all-American qualities or characteristics
a clean-cut all-American

Examples of all-American in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Andretti is making a bid for adding an all-American team to the grid in 2026, partnering with Cadillac on a bid that has yet to receive final approval. Sahil Kapur, NBC News, 26 Nov. 2023 Green was an all-American at Michigan State University in his junior and senior seasons. Richard Goldstein, New York Times, 16 Nov. 2023 One such group is Hazmat, currently recording with Nappa, an all-American indie-rock girl band formed in St. Louis, consisting of four members: lead singer Envy, drummer Bowie, guitarist Lily, and bassist Izzy. Daniel Scheffler, SPIN, 7 Nov. 2023 Why not flail around in defense of my all-American single proprietorship? William T. Vollmann, Harper's Magazine, 16 Oct. 2023 The all-American look adapts well to December or July! Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, 10 Oct. 2023 There was one guy who was a Picker in a later season who was very beefy and all-American. James Hibberd, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 Oct. 2023 Wolfe, a Southerner from Richmond, Va., working in the North, found success at age 35 and sought all-American cultural truths. Armond White, National Review, 22 Sep. 2023 Created by Bartlome -- who has a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Ashland University and is an all-American high jumper -- the Swift program launches next month and is designed to cater to every youngster’s unique needs and progression. cleveland, 4 Sep. 2023
Cole recalled this time as a stab at conventional all-American life – at least on the surface. oregonlive, 23 Mar. 2023 As in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet (1986), a young man descends into a twilight zone behind an explicitly all-American façade. Ed Park, The New York Review of Books, 14 Mar. 2023 Helen Hayes Award nominee Lauren Weinberg brings all the va-va-voom to vixen Lola and newcomer Jeffrey Keller is a star in the making as all-American Joe Hardy. Sun Sentinel, 10 Mar. 2023 These include balconies, roof decks, and the all-American picket fence. Kristine Gill, Better Homes & Gardens, 9 Mar. 2023 Buick invented the all-American GT coupe, and Americans loved it. Don Sherman, Car and Driver, 8 Mar. 2023 Tampa, Florida – The beloved Cuban sandwich is a delicious all-American culinary creation first served in Tampa, Florida, more than a century ago, according to proud local lore. Fox News, 28 Feb. 2023 There's no greater all-American road trip than one that travels along iconic Route 66—also known as U.S. Highway 66, the Mother Road (courtesy of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath), or the Main Street of America. Stefanie Waldek, Country Living, 24 Feb. 2023 Maxim Shmakov While Ali frames her stressors as common to the immigrant experience, there’s something very all-American, and generationally specific, about the chasm between what we were promised and what is happening around us in real-time. Nina St. Pierre, ELLE, 17 Feb. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use


1887, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1888, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of all-American was in 1887

Dictionary Entries Near all-American

Cite this Entry

“All-American.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: representing or typical of the U.S. or its ideals
an all-American boy
: selected as the best in the U.S.
the all-American football team
all-American noun
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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