adj., n., & adv.
1. a the whole amount, quantity, or extent of (waited all day; all his life; we all know why; take it all). b (with pl.) the entire number of (all the others left; all ten men; the children are all boys; film stars all).
2 any whatever (beyond all doubt).
3 greatest possible (with all speed).
1. a all the persons or things concerned (all were present; all were thrown away). b everything (all is lost; that is all).
2 (foll. by of) a the whole of (take all of it). b every one of (all of us). c colloq. as much as (all of six feet tall). d colloq. affected by; in a state of (all of a dither).
3 one's whole strength or resources (prec. by my, your, etc.).
4 (in games) on both sides (two goals all).
Widely used with of in sense 2a, b, esp. when followed by a pronoun or by a noun implying a number of persons or things, as in all of the children are here. However, use with mass nouns (as in all of the bread) is often avoided.
1. a entirely, quite (dressed all in black; all round the room; the all-important thing). b as an intensifier (a book all about ships; stop all this grumbling).
2 colloq. very (went all shy).
3 (foll. by the + compar.) a by so much; to that extent (if they go, all the better). b in the full degree to be expected (that makes it all the worse).
Phrases and idioms:
all along all the time (he was joking all along). all-American
1. representing the whole of (or only) America or the US.
2 truly American (all-American boy). all and sundry everyone. all-around US all-round. All Blacks colloq. the New Zealand international Rugby Union football team. all but very nearly (it was all but impossible; he was all but drowned). all-clear a signal that danger or difficulty is over.
All Fools' Day
1. April. all for colloq. strongly in favour of. All Hallows see HALLOW. all-important crucial; vitally important. all in colloq. exhausted. all-in (attrib.) inclusive of all. all in all everything considered. all-in wrestling wrestling with few or no restrictions. all manner of see MANNER. all of a sudden see SUDDEN. all one (or the same) (usu. foll. by to) a matter of indifference (it's all one to me). all out involving all one's strength; at full speed (also (with hyphen) attrib. : an all-out effort). all over 1 completely finished.
2 in or on all parts of (esp. the body) (went hot and cold all over; mud all over the carpet).
3 colloq. typically (that is you all over).
4 sl. effusively attentive to (a person). all-purpose suitable for many uses. all right (predic.)
1. satisfactory; safe and sound; in good condition.
2 satisfactorily, as desired (it worked out all right).
3 a an interjection expressing consent or assent to a proposal or order. b as an intensifier (that's the one all right). all-right attrib.adj. colloq. fine, acceptable (an all-right guy).
1. in all respects (a good performance all round).
2 for each person (he bought drinks all round). all-round (attrib.) (of a person) versatile. all-rounder Brit. a versatile person.
All Saints' Day
1. Nov. all the same nevertheless, in spite of this (he was innocent but was punished all the same). all set colloq. ready to start. All Souls' Day
2 Nov. all there colloq. mentally alert. all-time (of a record etc.) hitherto unsurpassed. all the time see TIME. all together all at once; all in one place or in a group (they came all together) ( cf. ALTOGETHER). all told in all. all-up weight the total weight of an aircraft with passengers, cargo, etc., when airborne. all very well colloq. an expression used to reject or to imply scepticism about a favourable or consoling remark. all the way the whole distance; completely. at all (with neg. or interrog.) in any way; to any extent (did not swim at all; did you like it at all?). be all up with see UP. in all in total number; altogether (there were 10 people in all). on all fours see FOUR. one and all everyone.
Etymology: OE all, eall, prob. f. Gmc