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 Strange that this needs to be said in 2019, but the standard playwright-director formula of regional theater isn’t the be-all and end-all. Los Angeles Times, "Commentary: As Center Theatre Group sputters, L.A. struggles to realize its artistic potential," 14 Oct. 2019 However, Mourinho changed his mind just months later, citing signing a central defender as the be-all and end-all of United's problems. SI.com, "The Reason Jose Mourinho Turned Down a Move for Virgil van Dijk While Man Utd Manager," 5 Sep. 2019 Check out our be-all and end-all list of 2019's back-to-school sales. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "The Best Teacher Discounts to Celebrate Back-to-School Season," 15 Aug. 2019 Its hopes, as advertised, are to be the be-all and end-all for mid-sized, high-budget concert experiences in Denver. Dylan Owens, The Know, "With Mission Ballroom, Denver finally has the concert venue it deserves," 8 Aug. 2019 Obviously, Broadway is not the be-all and end-all of American theater. New York Times, "The Boys in the Band Get to Broadway. Why Not the Girls?," 5 July 2019 If England win their round of 16 match against Cameroon on Sunday afternoon, the next match becomes everything, the most important, the be-all and end-all. SI.com, "Women's World Cup: How England's Winning Culture Goes Beyond the Pitch," 23 June 2019 Unlike free-market liberals (who are, in their way, as fanatical as communists), President Trump doesn’t consider global free trade the be-all and end-all of human progress. John Cullen, Harper's magazine, "Donald Trump Is a Good President," 10 Jan. 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for be-all and end-all

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

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Last Updated

20 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Be-all and end-all.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/be-all%20and%20end-all. Accessed 15 December 2019.

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