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

The point is that calories aren’t the be-all and end-all of nutrition. Kimberly Truong, SELF, "8 Signs It’s Time to See a Therapist About Your Relationship With Food," 29 Jan. 2019 If being a faithful simulation is the be-all and end-all of it, then how do consumer games compare to the real thing? Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "This isn’t a game: We try out a professional driver-in-the-loop simulator," 9 Aug. 2018 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.

See More

First Known Use of be-all and end-all

circa 1616, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about be-all and end-all

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

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for be-all and end-all

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

See more words from the same year

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

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

Comments on be-all and end-all

What made you want to look up be-all and end-all? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to speak slightingly about or to degrade

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!