be-all and end-all

\ 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 Although Reagan was known for helping enact a huge tax cut at the beginning of his presidency, tax cuts were never the be-all and end-all of his tax policy, as is the case with Trump. Bruce Bartlett, The New Republic, "Trump’s Republican Party Is Erasing Reagan’s Memory," 31 Aug. 2020 Many experienced coaches and trainers — me included — have concerns regarding the burpee and its marketing as a be-all and end-all of HIIT training. Dana Santas, CNN, "Safely ramp up exercise intensity: How to reboot your workout routine," 24 Aug. 2020 While DSLRs used to be the be-all and end-all of quality footage, that is no longer the case. Gabrielle Hondorp, Popular Mechanics, "The 6 Best Vlogging Cameras to Start Your Own Video Blog," 25 June 2020 Without wading too deep into the mathematical weeds, what this generally means is that comparing percentages of patients who die with one therapy versus another treatment course isn’t the be-all and end-all of a treatment’s effectiveness. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Gilead says remdesivir slashes coronavirus deaths. But it’s complicated," 10 July 2020 For some voters, particularly in the South, Albright pointed out, the reality is the Democratic primary is the be-all and end-all for a lot of races, especially at the local level, where Republicans are expected to win in the end. Natalie Gontcharova,, "Voting In The Primaries Might Be The Only Way To Save Electoral Politics," 22 June 2020 These research areas are not the be-all and end-all of a rejuvenated Alzheimer's science agenda. Kenneth S. Kosik, Scientific American, "Five Types of Research, Underexplored until Recently, Could Produce Alzheimer’s Treatments," 20 Apr. 2020 In recent decades, the skiwear industry has preached that high-tech synthetics are the be-all and end-all. Todd Plummer, WSJ, "Revisit Robert Redford’s Retro Ski Style," 4 Feb. 2020 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

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

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Cite this Entry

“Be-all and end-all.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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