all - definition and synonyms

adverb, determiner, preposition, pronoun 

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All can be used in the following ways:
as a determiner (followed by an uncountable or plural noun): They had given up all hope.All children deserve encouragement.
as a predeterminer (followed by a word such as ‘the’, ‘this’, or ‘his’): I want to hear all the details.We lost all our money.
as a pronoun: All was quiet in the street outside. (before a relative clause): I’ve done all that I can to help her. (followed by of): I want to invite all of you. (after the subject of a sentence): These buildings all belong to the college. (following the pronoun object of a sentence): Pauline said goodbye to them all. (after a modal or auxiliary verb or the verb ‘to be’): We can all relax.The tickets had all been sold.
as an adverb (before an adjective, adverb, preposition, or conjunction): Bernard was all alone in a strange city.They forgot all about everything else.
  1. 1
    the whole of something
    1. a.
      the whole of an amount or every part of something

      There’s no cake left. They’ve eaten it all.

      Have you spent all your money?

      all of:

      We need to make sure that all of our equipment has been checked.

    2. b.
      the whole of a period of time

      Sally had spent all her life working for others.

      all day/night/week/year etc:

      I’ve been awake all night worrying.

      all the time (=very often or continuously):

      The situation is changing all the time.

      She needs to have someone looking after her all the time.

      all through:

      They stayed in London all through the war.

    3. c.
      the whole of a group

      entertainment for all the family

    4. d.
      the whole of a situation or problem

      You can’t blame it all on David.

      Good luck! I hope all goes well.

    5. e.
      used in expressions for referring to every part of a place or surface
      all over/around/across/along etc:

      We’ve had messages of support from all around the world.

      Oh, look, you spilt it all over the carpet.

  2. 2
    every person or thing

    We all enjoyed the party.

    No one can solve all these problems.

    Over 90% of all traffic accidents result from human error.

    All seven astronauts were killed in the explosion.

    all of:

    I want all of you to listen carefully.

    not all:

    Not all lawyers have large incomes.

  3. 3
    1. a.
      used for emphasizing that something is completely true

      I’m all in favour of giving children more freedom.

      Now we’re going to be late, and it’s all because of you.

      all over (=completely finished):

      Divorce is a very complicated business – I’ll be glad when it’s all over.

    2. b.
      informal used for emphasizing how strong or complete a feeling or quality is

      He started to get all excited when I told him Cynthia was coming.

  4. 4
    used for saying that there is nothing more except what you are mentioning

    Just three pounds – that’s all I’ve got left.

    All we can do is sit and wait (=we cannot do anything more).

  5. 5
    used for showing the score in a game when each of the two players or teams has scored an equal number of points

    Nadal won the next point, bringing the score to 30 all.

See also