American English

Definition of all adverb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1completely She was dressed all in white. He lives all alone. The coffee spilled all over my skirt.
  2. 2(informal) very She was all excited. Now don't get all upset about it.
  3. 3all too… used to show that something is more than you would like I'm all too aware of the problems. The end of the trip came all too soon.
  4. 4(in sports and games) to each side The score was four all.
  5. Idioms all the time; from the beginning I realized it was in my pocket all along. in every way; in all respects a good performance all around
    all the better, harder, etc.
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    so much better, harder, etc. We'll have to work all the harder with two people out sick.
    1. 1almost The party was all but over when we arrived. It was all but impossible to read his writing.
    2. 2everything or everyone except something or someone All but one of the plates were damaged.
    all of something (often ironic)
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    used to emphasize an amount, a size, etc. usually when it is very small It must be all of 100 feet to the car!
    all of a sudden
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     quickly and unexpectedly All of a sudden someone grabbed me around the neck.
    1. 1everywhere We looked all over for the ring.
    2. 2what you would expect of the person mentioned That sounds like my sister all over.
    all there (informal)
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    having a healthy mind; thinking clearly He behaves very oddly at times—I don't think he's all there.
    be all about somebody/something
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    used to say what the most important aspect of something is It's all about money these days.
    be all for something/for doing something
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    to believe strongly that something should be done They're all for saving money where they can.
    be all over somebody/something (informal)
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    to show a lot of affection for or enthusiasm about someone or something He was all over her at the party.
    be all that (informal)
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    to be very attractive or impressive He thinks he's all that.
    be all up (with somebody) (old-fashioned) (informal)
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    to be the end for someone It looks as though it's all up with us now (= we are ruined, have no further chances, etc.).
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: all