American English

Definition of all determiner from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1(used with plural nouns. The noun may have the, this, that, my, her, his, etc. in front of it, or a number.) the whole number of All horses are animals, but not all animals are horses. Cars were coming from all directions (= every direction). All the people you invited are coming. All my plants have died. All five men are hard workers.
  2. 2(used with uncountable nouns. The noun may have the, this, that, my, her, his, etc. in front of it.) the whole amount of All wood tends to shrink. You had all the fun and I did all the hard work. All this mail must be answered. He has lost all his money.
  3. 3used with singular nouns showing something has been happening for a whole period of time He's worked hard all year. She was unemployed for all that time.
  4. 4the greatest possible In all honesty (= being as honest as I can), I can't agree.
  5. 5consisting or appearing to consist of one thing only The magazine was all advertisements. She was all smiles (= smiling a lot).
  6. 6any whatever He denied all knowledge of the crime.
  7. Idioms
    and all that (jazz, stuff, etc.) (informal)
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    and other similar things I'm bored by history—dates and battles and all that stuff.
    not all that good, well, etc.
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    not particularly good, well, etc. He doesn't sing all that well.
    not as bad(ly), etc. as all that
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    not as much as has been suggested They're not as rich as all that.
    of all the… (informal)
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    used to express anger I locked myself out. Of all the stupid things to do!
    of all people, things, etc. (informal)
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    used to express surprise because someone or something seems the least likely person, example, etc. I didn't think you, of all people, would become a vegetarian.
    on/from all sides, on/from every side
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    in or from all directions; everywhere We realized we were surrounded on all sides. Disaster threatens on every side. She was bombarded with questions from all sides.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: all