Definition of one-size-fits-all

1 : designed to conform to all shapes and sizes one-size-fits-all T-shirts One-size-fits-all gloves by Nolan Glove have gripper palms that are perfect for holding on …— Andrea Skinner If you are small of ear, you may find that those one-size-fits-all earbuds simply don't fit.— David Pogue
2 : covering, used for, or applying to all cases or individuals without modification This past spring, The New England Journal of Medicine published a series of articles by well-known geneticists who expressed frustration and disappointment at their inability to hit upon a one-size-fits-all genetic explanation for common diseases, which had seemed within their grasp only a few years ago.— Matthew Stremlau Levine says the old, one-size-fits-all approach allows too many youngsters to fall through the cracks—kids who may be perfectly intelligent but struggle in school.— Barbara Kantrowitz et al. Skeptics worry that patients are too varied and doctors too accustomed to providing unlimited care for a one-size-fits-all payment policy.— Catherine Arnst Where once there was the one-size-fits-all fixed-rate 30-year mortgage, now there is a bewildering assortment of home-financing arrangements …Consumer Reports

First Known Use of one-size-fits-all

1905, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about one-size-fits-all

Time Traveler for one-size-fits-all

Time Traveler

The first known use of one-size-fits-all was in 1905

See more words from the same year

Statistics for one-size-fits-all

Cite this Entry

“One-size-fits-all.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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

Comments on one-size-fits-all

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


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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