above all


in, at, or to a higher place.
overhead, upstairs, or in the sky: My brother lives in the apartment above. A flock of birds circled above.
higher in rank, authority, or power: She was told to speak to the person above.
higher in quantity or number: books with 100 pages and above.
before or earlier, especially in a book or other piece of writing; foregoing: the remark quoted above. Compare below ( def 6 ).
in or to heaven: gone to her eternal rest above.
Zoology. on the upper or dorsal side.
Theater. upstage. Compare below ( def 9 ).
higher than zero on the temperature scale: The temperature dropped to ten above this morning.
in or to a higher place than; over: to fly above the clouds; the floor above ours.
more in quantity or number than; in excess of: all girls above 12 years of age; The weight is above a ton.
superior in rank, authority, or standing to: A captain is above a lieutenant.
not subject or liable to; not capable of (some undesirable action, thought, etc.): above suspicion; to be above bad behavior.
of too fine a character for: He is above such trickery.
rather than; in preference to: to favor one child above the other.
beyond, especially north of: six miles above Baltimore.
Theater. upstage of.
said, mentioned, or written above; foregoing: the above explanation.
something that was said, mentioned, or written above: to refer to the above.
the person or persons previously indicated: The above will all stand trial.
heaven: truly a gift from above.
a higher authority: an order from above.
above all, most important of all; principally: charity above all.

before 900; Middle English above(n) (Cf. aboon), Old English abufan, onbufan (a-1, on + bufan above (cognate with Dutch boven), equivalent to b(e) by + ufan, cognate with Old Frisian uva, Old Saxon oban(a), Old High German obana, German oben, Old Norse ofan above; akin to over); see up; cf. about for formation

Above as an adjective (the above data) or as a noun (study the above) referring to what has been mentioned earlier in a piece of writing has long been standard. A few critics object to these uses in general writing, believing that they are more appropriate in business or technical contexts; they occur, however, in all kinds of edited writing.
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the whole of (used in referring to quantity, extent, or duration): all the cake; all the way; all year.
the whole number of (used in referring to individuals or particulars, taken collectively): all students.
the greatest possible (used in referring to quality or degree): with all due respect; with all speed.
every: all kinds; all sorts.
any; any whatever: beyond all doubt.
nothing but; only: The coat is all wool.
dominated by or as if by the conspicuous possession or use of a particular feature: The colt was all legs. They were all ears, listening attentively to everything she said.
Chiefly Pennsylvania German. all gone; consumed; finished: The pie is all.
the whole quantity or amount: He ate all of the peanuts. All are gone.
the whole number; every one: all of us.
everything: Is that all you want to say? All is lost.
one's whole interest, energy, or property: to give one's all; to lose one's all.
(often initial capital letter) the entire universe.
wholly; entirely; completely: all alone.
only; exclusively: He spent his income all on pleasure.
each; apiece: The score was one all.
Archaic. even; just.
above all, before everything else; chiefly: Above all, the little girl wanted a piano.
after all, in spite of the circumstances; notwithstanding: He came in time after all.
all at once. once ( def 14 ).
all but, almost; very nearly: These batteries are all but dead.
all in, Northern and Western U.S. very tired; exhausted: We were all in at the end of the day.
all in all,
everything considered; in general: All in all, her health is greatly improved.
altogether: There were twelve absentees all in all.
everything; everything regarded as important: Painting became his all in all.
all in hand, Printing, Journalism. (of the copy for typesetting a particular article, book, issue, etc.) in the possession of the compositor.
all in the wind, Nautical. too close to the wind.
all out, with all available means or effort: We went all out to win the war.
all over,
finished; done; ended.
everywhere; in every part.
in every respect; typically.
all standing, Nautical.
in such a way and so suddenly that sails or engines are still set to propel a vessel forward: The ship ran aground all standing.
fully clothed: The crew turned in all standing.
fully equipped, as a vessel.
all that, remarkably; entirely; decidedly (used in negative constructions): It's not all that different from your other house.
all the better, more advantageous; so much the better: If the sun shines it will be all the better for our trip.
all there, Informal. mentally competent; not insane or feeble-minded: Some of his farfetched ideas made us suspect that he wasn't all there.
all the same. same ( def 9 ).
all told. told ( def 2 ).
all up,
Printing, Journalism. (of copy) completely set in type.
Informal. with no vestige of hope remaining: It's all up with George—they've caught him.
and all, together with every other associated or connected attribute, object, or circumstance: What with the snow and all, we may be a little late.
at all,
in the slightest degree: I wasn't surprised at all.
for any reason: Why bother at all?
in any way: no offense at all.
for all (that), in spite of; notwithstanding: For all that, it was a good year.
in all, all included; all together: a hundred guests in all.
once and for all, for the last time; finally: The case was settled once and for all when the appeal was denied.

before 900; Middle English al, plural alle; Old English eal(l); cognate with Gothic alls, Old Norse allr, Old Frisian, Dutch, Middle Low German al, Old Saxon, Old High German al(l) (German all); if < *ol-no-, equivalent to Welsh oll and akin to Old Irish uile < *ol-io-; cf. almighty

all, awl (see usage note at the current entry).

2. every one of, each of. 14. totally, utterly, fully.

Expressions like all the farther and all the higher occur chiefly in informal speech: This is all the farther the bus goes. That's all the higher she can jump. Elsewhere as far as and as high as are generally used: This is as far as the bus goes. That's as high as she can jump.
Although some object to the inclusion of of in such phrases as all of the students and all of the contracts and prefer to omit it, the construction is entirely standard.
See also already, alright, altogether.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To above all
World English Dictionary
above (əˈbʌv)
1.  on top of or higher than; over: the sky above the earth
2.  greater than in quantity or degree: above average in weight
3.  superior to or prior to: to place honour above wealth
4.  too honourable or high-minded for: above petty gossiping
5.  too respected for; beyond: above suspicion; above reproach
6.  too difficult to be understood by: the talk was above me
7.  louder or higher than (other noise): I heard her call above the radio
8.  in preference to: I love you above all others
9.  north of: which town lies just above London?
10.  upstream from
11.  above all most of all; especially
12.  above and beyond in addition to
13.  above oneself presumptuous or conceited
14.  in or to a higher place: the sky above
15.  a.  in a previous place (in something written)
 b.  (in combination): the above-mentioned clause
16.  higher in rank or position
17.  in or concerned with heaven: seek the things that are above
18.  the above something that is above or previously mentioned
19.  mentioned or appearing in a previous place (in something written)
[Old English abufan, from a- on + bufan above]

all (ɔːl)
1.  a.  the whole quantity or amount of; totality of; every one of a class: all the rice; all men are mortal
 b.  (as pronoun; functioning as sing or plural): all of it is nice; all are welcome
 c.  (in combination with a noun used as a modifier): an all-ticket match; an all-amateur tournament; an all-night sitting
2.  the greatest possible: in all earnestness
3.  any whatever: to lose all hope of recovery; beyond all doubt
4.  above all most of all; especially
5.  after all See after
6.  all along all the time
7.  all but almost; nearly: all but dead
8.  all of no less or smaller than: she's all of thirteen years
9.  all over
 a.  finished; at an end: the affair is all over between us
 b.  over the whole area (of something); everywhere (in, on, etc): all over England
 c.  Also (Irish): all out typically; representatively (in the phrase that's me (you, him, us, them,etc) all over)
 d.  unduly effusive towards
 e.  sport in a dominant position over
10.  See all in
11.  all in all
 a.  everything considered: all in all, it was a great success
 b.  the object of one's attention or interest: you are my all in all
12.  informal (usually used with a negative) all that, that (intensifier): she's not all that intelligent
13.  ( foll by a comparative adjective or adverb ) all the so much (more or less) than otherwise: we must work all the faster now
14.  all too definitely but regrettably: it's all too true
15.  and all
 a.  informal (Brit) as well; too: and you can take that smile off your face and all
 b.  (South African) a parenthetical filler phrase used at the end of a statement to make a sl ight pause in speaking
16.  informal and all that
 a.  and similar or associated things; et cetera: coffee, tea, and all that will be served in the garden
 b.  used as a filler or to make what precedes more vague: in this sense, it often occurs with concessive force: she was sweet and pretty and all that, but I still didn't like her
 c.  See that
17.  as all that as one might expect or hope: she's not as pretty as all that, but she has personality
18.  at all
 a.  (used with a negative or in a question) in any way whatsoever or to any extent or degree: I didn't know that at all
 b.  even so; anyway: I'm surprised you came at all
19.  informal be all for to be strongly in favour of
20.  informal chiefly (US) be all that to be exceptionally good, talented, or attractive
21.  for all
 a.  in so far as; to the extent that: for all anyone knows, he was a baron
 b.  notwithstanding: for all my pushing, I still couldn't move it
22.  for all that in spite of that: he was a nice man for all that
23.  in all altogether: there were five of them in all
24.  (in scores of games) apiece; each: the score at half time was three all
25.  completely: all alone
26.  informal be all … used for emphasis when introducing direct speech or nonverbal communication: he was all, 'I'm not doing that'
n (preceded by my, your, his, etc)
27.  (one's) complete effort or interest: to give your all; you are my all
28.  totality or whole
Related: pan-, panto-
[Old English eall; related to Old High German al, Old Norse allr, Gothic alls all]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. abufan, from on "on" + bufan "over," compound of be "by" + ufan "over/high," from P.Gmc. *ufan-, *uban-. Meaning "in addition" first recorded 1590s.

O.E. eall "all, every, entire," from P.Gmc. *alnaz (cf. O.Fris., O.H.G. al, O.N. allr, Goth. alls), with no certain connection outside Gmc. All-fired (1837) is U.S. slang euphemism for hell-fired. First record of all out "to one's full powers" is 1880. All-star (adj.) is from 1889; all-American is from
1888, with ref. to baseball teams composed of the best players from the U.S. All-terrain vehicle first recorded 1970. All clear as a signal of "no danger" is recorded from 1902. All right, indicative of approval, is attested from 1953.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
  1. acute lymphocytic leukemia

  2. Albania—lek (currency)

The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

above all

More than anything else, as in A winter hike calls for good equipment, but above all it requires careful planning. This phrase first appears in William Langland's Piers Ploughman (1377), in which the narrator exhorts readers to love the Lord God above all. Also see first and last.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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