be-all and end-all

noun
\ ˈbē-ˌȯl-ən(d)-ˈend-ˌȯl How to pronounce be-all and end-all (audio) \

Definition of be-all and end-all

1 : prime cause : essential element

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

Recent Examples on the Web Westeros fans should rest assured that House of the Dragon is not necessarily the be-all and end-all of Game of Thrones spin-offs. Christian Holub, EW.com, 1 Dec. 2021 But professionals agree that the quality of your voice is not the be-all and end-all. Los Angeles Times, 19 Oct. 2021 In Trump’s worldview, winning is the be-all and end-all—for people and for nations—and anyone who says otherwise is either a dupe or a fraud. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, 4 Oct. 2021 That model was built around the preconception that the be-all and end-all of great service was eventually connecting with a friendly human professional. Vivek Ahuja, Forbes, 7 July 2021 Artificial intelligence has long been touted as the be-all and end-all to solving problems in business and the global economy. Kevin Collins, Forbes, 7 Apr. 2021 In some cases, the perimeter is still in place (think local firewalls), but because cloud-native apps are designed to run anywhere on any server — and be highly connected — perimeter security is no longer the be-all and end-all. Bill Mann, Forbes, 19 Mar. 2021 Though the actress has long been the be-all and end-all fitness inspiration for women across the globe, Berry no longer wants her lifestyle to be deemed unobtainable for the average, everyday woman. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, 3 Mar. 2021 Having several short conversations, rather than one be-all and end-all, is a good idea, too. Washington Post, 1 Mar. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of be-all and end-all

circa 1616, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About be-all and end-all

Time Traveler for be-all and end-all

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near be-all and end-all

beallach

be-all and end-all

Bealtine

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for be-all and end-all

Last Updated

8 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Be-all and end-all.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/be-all%20and%20end-all. Accessed 17 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on be-all and end-all

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for be-all and end-all

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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