Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of all
Meaning of all by Wiktionary Dictionary



    • ( UK ) IPA: /ɔːl/, X-SAMPA: /O:l/
    • ( US ) IPA: /ɔl/, X-SAMPA: /Ol/
    • ( cot–caught merger, Northern Cities Vowel Shift ) IPA: /ɑl/, X-SAMPA: /Al/
    • Rhymes: -ɔːl


    From Middle English, from Old English eall ( “all, every, entire, whole, universal” ), from Proto-Germanic *allaz, *alnaz ( “all, whole, every” ), from Proto-Indo-European *al- ( “all” ). Cognate with West Frisian al ( “all” ), Dutch al ( “all” ), German all ( “all” ), Swedish all ( “all” ), Icelandic allur ( “all” ), Welsh oll ( “all” ), Irish uile ( “all” ), Lithuanian aliái ( “all, each, every” ), Albanian lloj ( “type, sort, variegated” ) .


    all ( not comparable )

    1. ( degree ) intensifier .
      You’ve got it all wrong .
      She was all, “Whatever.”
    2. Apiece; each .
      The score was 30 all when the rain delay started .
    3. ( degree ) So much .
      Don't want to go? All the better since I lost the tickets .




    1. Every individual or anything of the given class, with no exceptions ( the noun or noun phrase denoting the class must be plural: or uncountable ) .
      All contestants must register at the scorer’s table .
      All flesh is grass .
      All my friends like classical music .
    2. Throughout the whole of ( a stated period of time; generally used with units of a day or longer ) .
      The store is open all day and all night. ( = The store is open throughout the whole of the day and the whole of the night. )
      I’ve been working on this all year. ( = I've been working from the beginning of the year until now. )
    3. Everyone .
      A good time was had by all .
    4. Everything .
      Some gave all they had .
      She knows all and sees all .


    all ( countable and uncountable; plural: alls )

    1. ( with a possessive pronoun ) Everything possible .
      She gave her all, and collapsed at the finish line .
    2. ( countable ) The totality of one's possessions.

    Derived terms

    Related terms

    See also



    By Wiktionary ( 2012/04/27 03:50 UTC Version )

    Alternative forms

    • -al


    From Latin adjective suffix -alis .



    1. ( obsolete ) of or pertaining to; adjectival suffix appended to various words, often nouns, to make an adjective form. Often added to words of Latin origin, but used with other words also .
      line, lineall
      base, basall
      cranium, craniall
    2. Relating to the whole of something .

    Usage notes

    If the root word ended in l, the variant -ar was often used instead. Sometimes both forms were found: linear, lineall .


    By Wiktionary ( 2011/10/01 20:16 UTC Version )


    From Middle English all- ( also al- ), from Old English eall-, eal- ( “all-” ), from Proto-Germanic *ala- ( “all-” ), from Proto-Indo-European *al- ( “all” ). Cognate with Dutch al-, German all-, Swedish all-. More at all .



    1. Combining form to indicate complete power or authority in an area .
    2. Combining form to indicate that a term applies in a general manner .

Explanation of all by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. to a complete degree or to the full or entire extent

    2. a totally new situation
      the directions were all wrong
    1. completely given to or absorbed by

    2. became all attention
    3. quantifier

    4. we sat up all night
      ate all the food
      all men are mortal
      all parties are welcome

    Definition of all by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. All a. [OE. al, pl. alle, AS. eal, pl. ealle, Northumbrian alle, akin to D. & OHG. al, Ger. all, Icel. allr. Dan. al, Sw. all, Goth. alls; and perh. to Ir. and Gael. uile, W. oll.]
      1. The whole quantity, extent, duration, amount, quality, or degree of; the whole; the whole number of; any whatever; every; as, “all the wheat; all the land; all the year; all the strength; all happiness; all abundance; loss of all power; beyond all doubt; you will see us all ( or all of us ).”

      Prove all things: hold fast that which is good. 1 Thess. v. 21.

      2. Any. [Obs.] “Without all remedy.” Shak.

      ☞ When the definite article “the,” or a possessive or a demonstrative pronoun, is joined to the noun that all qualifies, all precedes the article or the pronoun; as, all the cattle; all my labor; all his wealth; all our families; all your citizens; all their property; all other joys.

      This word, not only in popular language, but in the Scriptures, often signifies, indefinitely, a large portion or number, or a great part. Thus, all the cattle in Egypt died, all Judea and all the region round about Jordan, all men held John as a prophet, are not to be understood in a literal sense, but as including a large part, or very great numbers.

      3. Only; alone; nothing but.

      I was born to speak all mirth and no matter. Shak.

      All the whole, the whole ( emphatically ). [Obs.] “All the whole army.” Shak.

    2. All, adv.
      1. Wholly; completely; altogether; entirely; quite; very; as, “all bedewed; my friend is all for amusement.” “And cheeks all pale.” Byron.

      ☞ In the ancient phrases, all too dear, all too much, all so long, etc., this word retains its appropriate sense or becomes intensive.

      2. Even; just. ( Often a mere intensive adjunct. ) [Obs. or Poet.]

      All as his straying flock he fed. Spenser.

      A damsel lay deploring

      All on a rock reclined. Gay.

      All to, or All-to. In such phrases as “all to rent,” “all to break,” “all-to frozen,” etc., which are of frequent occurrence in our old authors, the all and the to have commonly been regarded as forming a compound adverb, equivalent in meaning to entirely, completely, altogether. But the sense of entireness lies wholly in the word all ( as it does in “all forlorn,” and similar expressions ), and the to properly belongs to the following word, being a kind of intensive prefix ( orig. meaning asunder and answering to the LG. ter-, HG. zer- ). It is frequently to be met with in old books, used without the all. Thus Wyclif says, “The vail of the temple was to rent:” and of Judas, “He was hanged and to-burst the middle:” i. e., burst in two, or asunder. -- All along. See under Along. -- All and some, individually and collectively, one and all. [Obs.] “Displeased all and some.” Fairfax. -- All but. Scarcely; not even. [Obs.] Shak. Almost; nearly. “The fine arts were all but proscribed.” Macaulay. -- All
      hollow, entirely, completely; as, “to beat any one all hollow”. [Low] -- All one, the same thing in effect; that is, wholly the same thing. -- All over, over the whole extent; thoroughly; wholly; as, “she is her mother all over”. [Colloq.] -- All the better, wholly the better; that is, better by the whole difference. -- All the same, nevertheless. “There they [certain phenomena] remain rooted all the same, whether we recognize them or not.” J. C. Shairp. “But Rugby is a very nice place all the same.” T. Arnold. -- See also under All, n.

    3. All n. The whole number, quantity, or amount; the entire thing; everything included or concerned; the aggregate; the whole; totality; everything or every person; as, “our all is at stake”.

      Death, as the Psalmist saith, is certain to all. Shak.

      All that thou seest is mine. Gen. xxxi. 43.

      All is used with of, like a partitive; as, all of a thing, all of us.

      After all, after considering everything to the contrary; nevertheless. -- All in all, a phrase which signifies all things to a person, or everything desired; ( also adverbially ) wholly; altogether.

      Thou shalt be all in all, and I in thee,

      Forever. Milton.

      Trust me not at all, or all in all. Tennyson.

      -- All in the wind ( Naut. ), a phrase denoting that the sails are parallel with the course of the wind, so as to shake. -- All told, all counted; in all. -- And all, and the rest; and everything connected. “Bring our crown and all.” Shak. -- At all. In every respect; wholly; thoroughly. [Obs.] “She is a shrew at al.” Chaucer. A phrase much used by way of enforcement or emphasis, usually in negative or interrogative sentences, and signifying in any way or respect; in the least degree or to the least extent; in the least; under any circumstances; as, “he has no ambition at all; has he any property at all?” “Nothing at all.” Shak. “If thy father at all miss me.” 1 Sam. xx. 6. -- Over all, everywhere. [Obs.] Chaucer.

      ☞ All is much used in composition to enlarge the meaning, or add force to a word. In some instances, it is completely incorporated into words, and its final consonant is dropped, as in almighty, already, always: but, in most instances, it is an adverb prefixed to adjectives or participles, but usually with a hyphen, as, all-bountiful, all-glorious, allimportant, all-surrounding, etc. In others it is an adjective; as, allpower, all-giver. Anciently many words, as, alabout, alaground, etc., were compounded with all, which are now written separately.

    4. All, conj. [Orig. all, adv., wholly: used with though or if, which being dropped before the subjunctive left all as if in the sense although.] Although; albeit. [Obs.]

      All they were wondrous loth. Spenser.