all-or-nothing

adjective

all-or-noth·​ing
ˌȯl-ər-ˈnə-thiŋ
1
2
a
: accepting no less than everything
he's an all-or-nothing perfectionist
b
: risking everything
an all-or-nothing combat strategy

Examples of all-or-nothing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Curt Miller urged his team to play with an all-or-nothing sentiment before the Sparks closed their four-game homestand Tuesday night. Benjamin Royer, Los Angeles Times, 10 July 2024 Critics, however, argue Gascón’s all-or-nothing policies — which initially blocked prosecutors from filing certain charges or seeking sentencing enhancements in any case — have allowed some defendants to commit repeat offenses without fear of punishment, and blame him for increases in crime. James Queally, Los Angeles Times, 30 June 2024 Across the decades and leagues in Greater Miami’s sports history, no game played in our own backyard, ever, had presented such a stark, all-or-nothing extreme of unprecedented momentous joy or epic humiliation and infamy — no in-between. Greg Cote, Miami Herald, 25 June 2024 People sometimes take an all-or-nothing approach to vulnerability with new friends, but small steps build trust most reliably. Emma Nadler, Washington Post, 23 June 2024 The Dodgers’ offense has had its own – much milder – dry spells spaced out in an all-or-nothing pattern over the past month. Bill Plunkett, Orange County Register, 14 June 2024 Your ambitious 10th house is hosting the Moon for its monthly visit, giving you a drive to succeed that drive gains further intensity when Luna sextiles Mercury in your all-or-nothing 8th house. Tarot.com, Hartford Courant, 10 June 2024 Bedridden after a stroke, Wilson rejected any amendments, insisting on an all-or-nothing approach. Michael Sheldrick, New York Daily News, 5 Feb. 2024 An all-or-nothing approach isn’t necessarily required. Tarot.com, Baltimore Sun, 6 May 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'all-or-nothing.' 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

1764, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of all-or-nothing was in 1764

Dictionary Entries Near all-or-nothing

Cite this Entry

“All-or-nothing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/all-or-nothing. Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition

all-or-nothing

adjective
all-or-noth·​ing -ˈnəth-iŋ How to pronounce all-or-nothing (audio)

More from Merriam-Webster on all-or-nothing

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!