in the altogether

altogether

[awl-tuh-geth-er, awl-tuh-geth-er]
adverb
1.
wholly; entirely; completely; quite: altogether fitting.
2.
with all or everything included: The debt amounted altogether to twenty dollars.
3.
with everything considered; on the whole: Altogether, I'm glad it's over.
Idioms
4.
in the altogether, Informal. nude: When the phone rang she had just stepped out of the bathtub and was in the altogether.

Origin:
1125–75; variant of Middle English altogeder. See all, together


1. utterly, totally, absolutely.


The forms altogether and all together, though often indistinguishable in speech, are distinct in meaning. The adverb altogether means “wholly, entirely, completely”: an altogether confused scene. The phrase all together means “in a group”: The children were all together in the kitchen. This all can be omitted without seriously affecting the meaning: The children were together in the kitchen.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
altogether (ˌɔːltəˈɡɛðə, ˈɔːltəˌɡɛðə)
 
adv
1.  with everything included: altogether he owed me sixty pounds
2.  completely; utterly; totally: he was altogether mad
3.  on the whole: altogether it was a very good party
 
n
4.  informal in the altogether naked

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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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

altogether
M.E. altogedere, a strengthened form of all (also see together); used in the sense of "a whole" from 1660s. The altogether "nude" is from 1894.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

in the altogether

Also, in or stripped to the buff; in the raw. Naked, nude, as in The art class wanted a model to pose in the altogether, or She was stripped to the buff when the doorbell rang, or He always sleeps in the raw. The first of these colloquial terms dates from the late 1800s. In the buff, a seemingly modern locution dates from the 1600s, buff alluding to a soft, undyed leather, buffskin, that also gave its name to the color. The use of raw, presumably also alluding to raw (undressed) leather, dates from the early 1900s.

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