Meaning of ALL in English

transcription, транскрипция: [ ɔ:l ]

Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English.


You use all to indicate that you are referring to the whole of a particular group or thing or to everyone or everything of a particular kind.

...the restaurant that Hugh and all his friends go to...

He lost all his money at a blackjack table in Las Vegas.

PREDET : PREDET det pl-n / n-uncount

All is also a determiner.

There is built-in storage space in all bedrooms...

85 percent of all American households owe money on mortgages...

He was passionate about all literature.

DET : DET pl-n / n-uncount

All is also a quantifier.

He was told to pack up all of his letters and personal belongings...

He was talking to all of us.

QUANT : QUANT of def-pl-n / def-n-uncount

All is also a pronoun.

We produce our own hair-care products, all based on herbal recipes...

I’d spent all I had, every last penny.


All is also an emphasizing pronoun.

Milk, oily fish and egg all contain vitamin D...

We all admire professionalism and dedication.



You use all to refer to the whole of a particular period of time.

George had to cut grass all afternoon...

She’s been feeling bad all week.

DET : DET sing-n

All is also a predeterminer.

She’s worked all her life...

He was looking at me all the time.

PREDET : PREDET det sing-n

All is also a quantifier.

He spent all of that afternoon polishing the silver...

Two-thirds of the women interviewed think about food a lot or all of the time.

QUANT : QUANT of def-n


You use all to refer to a situation or to life in general.

All is silent on the island now...

As you’ll have read in our news pages, all has not been well of late.



You use all to emphasize that something is completely true, or happens everywhere or always, or on every occasion.

He loves animals and he knows all about them...

Parts for the aircraft will be made all round the world...

I got scared and I ran and left her all alone...

He was doing it all by himself...

ADV : ADV prep / adv [ emphasis ]


You use all at the beginning of a clause when you are emphasizing that something is the only thing that is important.

He said all that remained was to agree to a time and venue...

All you ever want to do is go shopping!...

All I could say was, ‘I’m sorry’.

PRON [ emphasis ]


You use all in expressions such as in all sincerity and in all probability to emphasize that you are being sincere or that something is very likely.

In all fairness he had to admit that she was neither dishonest nor lazy...

DET : in DET n-uncount [ emphasis ]


You use all when you are talking about an equal score in a game. For example, if the score is three all , both players or teams have three points.

ADV : amount ADV


All is used in structures such as all the more or all the better to mean even more or even better than before.

The living room is decorated in pale colours that make it all the more airy...

ADV : ADV the adv / adj-compar


You use all in expressions such as seen it all and done it all to emphasize that someone has had a lot of experience of something.

...women who have it all: career, husband and children...

Here’s a man who has seen it all, tasted and heard it all.

PRON [ emphasis ]


You say above all to indicate that the thing you are mentioning is the most important point.

Above all, chairs should be comfortable...

PHRASE : PHR with cl / group [ emphasis ]


You use after all when introducing a statement which supports or helps explain something you have just said.

I thought you might know somebody. After all, you’re the man with connections.

PHRASE : PHR with cl


You use after all when you are saying that something that you thought might not be the case is in fact the case.

I came out here on the chance of finding you at home after all...



You use and all when you want to emphasize that what you are talking about includes the thing mentioned, especially when this is surprising or unusual.

He dropped his sausage on the pavement and someone’s dog ate it, mustard and all.

PHRASE : n PHR [ emphasis ]


You use all in all to introduce a summary or general statement.

We both thought that all in all it might not be a bad idea...

PHRASE : PHR with cl


You use at all at the end of a clause to give emphasis in negative statements, conditional clauses, and questions.

Robin never really liked him at all...

PHRASE [ emphasis ]


All but a particular person or thing means everyone or everything except that person or thing.

The general was an unattractive man to all but his most ardent admirers...



You use all but to say that something is almost the case.

The concrete wall that used to divide this city has now all but gone...



You use for all to indicate that the thing mentioned does not affect or contradict the truth of what you are saying.

For all its faults, the film instantly became a classic.

= despite



You use for all in phrases such as for all I know , and for all he cares , to emphasize that you do not know something or that someone does not care about something.

For all we know, he may even not be in this country...

You can go right now for all I care.

PHRASE : PHR with cl [ emphasis ]


If you give your all or put your all into something, you make the maximum effort possible.

He puts his all into every game.

PHRASE : V inflects


In all means in total.

There was evidence that thirteen people in all had taken part in planning the murder.

PHRASE : PHR with cl , amount PHR


If something such as an activity is a particular price all in , that price includes everything that is offered. ( mainly BRIT INFORMAL )

Dinner is about £25 all in.

PHRASE : amount PHR , PHR with cl


You use of all to emphasize the words ‘first’ or ‘last’, or a superlative adjective or adverb.

First of all, answer these questions...

Now she faces her toughest task of all.

PHRASE : PHR with superl [ emphasis ]


You use of all in expressions such as of all people or of all things when you want to emphasize someone or something surprising.

They met and fell in love in a supermarket, of all places.

PHRASE : PHR n [ emphasis ]


You use all in expressions like of all the cheek or of all the luck to emphasize how angry or surprised you are at what someone else has done or said.

Of all the lazy, indifferent, unbusinesslike attitudes to have!

PHRASE [ feelings ]


You use all of before a number to emphasize how small or large an amount is.

It took him all of 41 minutes to score his first goal...

PHRASE : PHR amount [ emphasis ]


You use all that in statements with negative meaning when you want to weaken the force of what you are saying. ( SPOKEN )

He wasn’t all that older than we were...

PHRASE : PHR with brd-neg , PHR adj / adv [ vagueness ]


You can say that’s all at the end of a sentence when you are explaining something and want to emphasize that nothing more happens or is the case.

‘Why do you want to know that?’ he demanded.—‘Just curious, that’s all.’



You use all very well to suggest that you do not really approve of something or you think that it is unreasonable.

It is all very well to urge people to give more to charity when they have less, but is it really fair?

PHRASE : v-link PHR [ disapproval ]

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Английский словарь Коллинз COBUILD для изучающих язык на продвинутом уровне.