be-all and end-all

\ ˈbē-ˌȯl-ən(d)-ˈend-ˌȯl \

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,, "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

circa 1616, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

13 Feb 2019

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

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to express emotion in a dramatic way

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