Idioms and Expressions - All

Boy Instructing
Mr. Know it All. Anton Violin / Moment / Getty Images

The following idioms and expressions use 'all'. Each idiom or expression has a definition and three example sentences to help understanding of these common idiomatic expressions with 'all'. Once you have studied these expressions, test your knowledge with quiz testing idioms and expressions with all.

All-nighter

Definition: do something (for instance a study session) that lasts all night

We pulled an all-nighter to get ready for the exam.
The graduation party was an all-nighter.
I'm afraid I'm going to have to pull an all-nighter to get the report ready for tomorrow.

All over something

Definition: very fond of something

He's all over the latest fashions.
Peter's all over antique furniture.
I'm all over that author's works.

All right (!)

Definition: Yes, okay, fine

That's all right by me!
All right! I got an A+ on my term paper.
I think he's all right with the changes we foresee. 

All shook up

Definition: extremely excited, worried, or disturbed about something

He's all shook up about his mother's illness.
Wow! I'm all shook up about Alice.
I don't want you to get all shook up over the news.

All that and then some

Definition: even more than what has been mentioned

He did all that and then some to get the new job.
Yes, that's right. All that and then some!
I think he'll do all that and then some in order to get the company back on its feet. 

All the way (with go)

Definition: do something completely

He's going all the way for the scholarship.
We went all the way to California on our vacation.
I think you can go all the way to finals in this competition.

Dash it all!

Definition: expression used when very upset

Dash it all! I didn't do very well.
Dash it all! She can't come this weekend.
I'm afraid the position didn't work out. Dash it all!

For all I know

Definition: based on what I know (usually expressing displeasure)

For all I know, he'll come and win the prize.
They've decided to hire Jack for all I know.
For all he knows, she wants to get married. 

Free for all

Definition: crazy, non-restricted activity (generally a fight)

It was a free for all! Everyone went crazy!
They stepped in to break up the free for all.
Black Friday is generally a free for all that I try to avoid. 

Have it all together

Definition: be very poised, successful

He has it all together. The house, the wife, the kids, the great job - everything!
I was very impressed with the candidate. She seemed to have it all together.
I hope the new recruit has it all together. We need a team player. 

Hold all the aces

Definition: have all the advantages

Unfortunately, Tom holds all the aces right now. You'll have to do what he says.
I'm holding all the aces so I can do whatever I want.
I'm afraid this is a situation in which you don't hold all the aces.

Know all the angles

Definition: be very clever about something

Jack knows all the angles. Be careful!
The salesman knew all the angles, and by the end of our talk I had bought a new computer!
If you need some help with math talk to Peter. He knows all the angles. 

Know it all

Definition: someone who seems to know everything and lets everybody know that he / she knows everything, used in a negative sense

I know you think you are a know it all, but you don't know everything. 
I hate Tom. He's such a know it all in class.
Don't think you know it all. 

Not all there

Definition: not intelligent, not completely focused on an activity

I'm afraid Peter is not all there. He needs some help badly.
Unfortunately, I was not all there and lost the final match.
Be quiet. The boss is not all there today. Give him plenty of room.

Of all the nerve!

Definition: expression of anger at someone's behavior

Of all the nerve! Did you see how that woman treated me?
Of all the nerve! She took me seat!
You didn't buy him a present?! Of all the nerve! That guy has always treated you well. 

Once and for all

Definition: finally (usually putting an end to something)

I'm going to stop his behavior once and for all!
Let's get this over once and for all.
I'd like to review the grammar one more time. Hopefully, this will make it clear once and for all. 

Pull out all the stops

Definition: make every possible effort to do something

He pulled out all the stops on the exam.
We're going to pull out all the stops on our presentation.
I'd like to throw a huge party that pulls out all the stops. 

You can't win them all.

Definition: expression of acceptance after a loss or disappointment

Well, you can't win them all. Let's go home.
You did your best. You can't win them all
I tried to get the job, but I didn't. You can't win them all. 

Once you have studied these expressions, test your knowledge with quiz testing idioms and expressions with all.