all in all

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all in all (not comparable)

  1. (modal, set phrase) Generally, all things considered
    All in all, it's not a bad little restaurant.
    • 1951 April, Stirling Everard, “A Matter of Pedigree”, in Railway Magazine, number 600, page 273:
      There are, of course, certain differences of detail; for example, the placing of the safety valves on the boiler barrel behind the dome, which follows the practice in the Riddles 2-8-0 and 2-10-0 locomotives for the Ministry of Supply; but taken all in all, Britannia's boiler has a closer affinity with the Doncaster designs than with any other.
  2. Altogether, in all, with everything included
    There were twenty absentees all in all.
  3. (archaic) Altogether, wholly, in every way




all in all (uncountable)

  1. Everything that matters; the only thing of importance.
    • 1822, William Goode, Essays on all the scriptural names and titles of Christ, page 181:
      [] to realize, by constant faith, the all-sufficiency of his redeeming power and love — to make him all his salvation and all his desire, the Alpha and Omega of all his hope, his all in all.
    • 1847 January – 1848 July, William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair [], London: Bradbury and Evans [], published 1848, →OCLC:
      You saw us all in happier days before he married me. I was all in all then to him; or would he have given up his fortune, his family, as he nobly did to make me happy?
    • 1828, Constantine Henry Phipps Marquess of Normanby, Yes and No: a Tale of the Day, page 12:
      Her mother had been all in all to her: she had never seemed to have any separate existence from that of her child.