the be-all and end-all

noun phrase

: the most important part of something or the reason for something
He acts as if making money is the be-all and end-all of human existence.

Examples of the be-all and end-all in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Personal autonomy isn’t the be-all and end-all of ethical calculations. Matthew X. Wilson, National Review, 10 July 2024 But as was the case when Grier was named the GM two years ago after his playing history in San Jose, having local ties is not the be-all and end-all of finding a coach who can stay for several years. Curtis Pashelka, The Mercury News, 24 May 2024 But despite its enormous successes, no one thinks that these particles and forces are the be-all and end-all of existence. Elise Cutts, Quanta Magazine, 17 Apr. 2024 Okay, but TikTok is not the be-all and end-all of scientific information. Stephanie McNeal, Glamour, 15 Dec. 2023 Every oven is different, with some running hotter than others, and while the times listed in recipes are what the recipe developer experienced and offered as a guide for you at home, audio and visual cues should be the be-all and end-all for deciding when a dish is ready to come out of the oven. Aaron Hutcherson, Washington Post, 29 Sep. 2023 The menu at Ruby Tuesday didn’t necessarily seem like the be-all and end-all, but their systems for doing business were impressive. Lawrence Specker |, al, 7 Sep. 2023 How to do the strawberry milk nails trend For semitransparent manicures, preparation is the be-all and end-all. Melanie Paukner, Glamour, 31 Aug. 2023 With that chance of a rematch in the regional finals more likely for 11-6A teams than others, the regular-season matchup isn’t the be-all and end-all for the teams that finish third and fourth in the district. Lia Assimakopoulos, Dallas News, 17 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'the be-all and end-all.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Dictionary Entries Near the be-all and end-all

Cite this Entry

“The be-all and end-all.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

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