be-all and end-all

noun
\ˈbē-ˌȯl-ən(d)-ˈend-ˌȯl \

Definition of be-all and end-all 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : prime cause : essential element

the be-all and end-all

noun phrase

Definition of the be-all and end-all (Entry 2 of 2)

: the most important part of something or the reason for something He acts as if making money is the be-all and end-all of human existence.

Examples of be-all and end-all in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But for David, meeting Ina Garten, his culinary hero, was his be-all and end-all. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Facts About David Venable, Your Beloved QVC Host From "In the Kitchen With David"," 7 May 2018 American multiplexes are no longer the be-all and end-all for Hollywood. Daniel Arkin /, NBC News, "The new blockbuster game: Hollywood's flop is China's fortune," 30 Apr. 2018 But even those who consider Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy the be-all and end-all can appreciate the latest adaption of Jane Austen's famed love story. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "New Pride and Prejudice Adaptation Reimagines Elizabeth Bennet as a Texas Deb," 24 Apr. 2017 The big man was still the be-all and end-all in the NBA then, both for offense around the rim and defense of it. Bill Livingston, cleveland.com, "LeBron James and another Dunk of Never-ending Glory: Bill Livingston (photos, video)," 16 July 2017 Because according to Byrdie, this concealer is Pinterest's most popular be-all and end-all. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "The Most Popular Concealer on Pinterest Is a $5 Drugstore Steal," 25 Oct. 2017 But at the same time, prices and efficiency shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all of governmental policy. Isaac Chotiner, Slate Magazine, "Why it’s time to panic about what Google and Facebook are doing to our lives.," 5 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'be-all and end-all.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of be-all and end-all

Noun

circa 1616, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near be-all and end-all

beal

bealing

beallach

be-all and end-all

Bealtine

beam

beamage

Statistics for be-all and end-all

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Time Traveler for be-all and end-all

The first known use of be-all and end-all was circa 1616

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