after all

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Prepositional phrase[edit]

after all

  1. (idiomatic) Anyway, in any case; indicates a statement is true regardless of other considerations; used to reinforce or explain a point.
    After all, they never come home for Christmas.
    Of course he won't give you credit. After all, his first and last concern is his company's profit margin.
    • 1813, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice:
      "What a charming amusement for young people this is, Mr. Darcy! There is nothing like dancing after all. I consider it as one of the first refinements of polished society."
  2. (idiomatic) In the end, however; used in referring to something that was believed to be the case, but is not; or to an outcome that is not what was expected or predicted.
    They won't be coming home for Christmas after all.
    • 1903, Samuel Butler, chapter 40, in The Way of All Flesh:
      Then the idea returned to her that, after all, her son might not be innocent in the Ellen matter—and this was so interesting that she felt bound to get as near the truth as she could.