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be-all (plural be-alls)

  1. (poetic) The whole; all that is to be.
    • a. 1606, Shakespeare, William, Macbeth, act 1, scene 7, lines 4–5:
      That but this blow / Might be the be-all and the end-all!
    • 2007, Kirbyjon H. Caldwell, Be In It to Win It:
      [] to be happy with their lot in life, content with things as they are, things that may once have been be-alls and absolute end-alls but that lost their intoxication after five years, put them on automatic pilot after ten and became a prison after fifteen.

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