mother of all

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



Calque of Arabic أُمّ الـ (ʾumm al--); popularized after its use by Saddam Hussein, then president of Iraq, in reference to the Gulf War as أُمّ المَعَارِك (ʾumm al-maʿārik, mother of battles).


mother of all

  1. (colloquial) Used before a plural noun to form a compound noun having the sense of: the greatest or largest of its kind.
    • 2003, "2003 Movie Guide", Christian Science Monitor, 26 Dec 03:
      Driving to a dinner engagement, a Parisian woman gets stuck in the mother of all traffic jams, offers a ride to a handsome pedestrian, and enters a fleeting affair that catches both of them by surprise.
    • 2006, Jean Chatzky, "Get the Scoop", Money, vol. 35.8:
      Five mail-order ice creams. Four pregnant women. Welcome to the mother of all taste tests.

See also[edit]