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[adv. oh-ver-awl; adj., n. oh-ver-awl] /adv. ˈoʊ vərˈɔl; adj., n. ˈoʊ vərˌɔl/
adverb, adjective
from one extreme limit of a thing to the other:
the overall length of the bridge.
covering or includingeverything:
an overall impression; to view something overall.
overalls, (used with a plural verb)
  1. loose, sturdy trousers, usually with a bib or biblike piece to which shoulder straps are attached, originally worn over other trousers to protect them, as by factory workers or farmers.
  2. long waterproof leggings.
British. a smock or loose-fitting housedress.
Origin of overall
before 1000; Middle English overal (adv.), Old English ofer eall; see over, all Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for overalls
  • They were dressed in overalls and in the winter wore heavy coats that were flecked with mud.
  • Riders who worked in the related landscape wore leather overalls open at the back, and called them chaparajos.
  • He was wearing denim overalls and a cotton fishing hat with the sides pinned up.
  • Red cranes, red overalls, red bulldozers and red boots announced to the world that his team had been called to the scene.
  • Museum workers dressed in matching overalls slowly loaded the box inside the back of a medium-size, steel-fortified truck.
  • It goes beyond her uncombed hair, baggy overalls and rat's-nest purse.
  • overalls are fashion news and how you wear them is what counts.
  • As usual, he wore his protest clothes: denim bib overalls, a long-sleeved red shirt and matching sneakers.
  • The trapped miners will wear overalls such as these during their rescue operation.
  • Chemical-resistant suits may be one-piece coveralls or two-piece outfits consisting of a jacket worn over overalls or pants.
British Dictionary definitions for overalls


adjective (prenominal) (ˈəʊvərˌɔːl)
from one end to the other
including or covering everything: the overall cost
adverb (ˌəʊvərˈɔːl)
in general; on the whole
noun (ˈəʊvərˌɔːl)
(Brit) a protective work garment usually worn over ordinary clothes
(pl) hard-wearing work trousers with a bib and shoulder straps or jacket attached
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for overalls

see overall.



"everywhere," Old English ofer eall, from ofer "over" (see over) + eall (see all). Sense of "including everything" is from 1894. The noun in the clothing sense (usually plural) of "loose trousers of a strong material worn by cowboys, etc." is from 1782. Specific sense "loose fitting canvas trousers with a bib and strap top" (originally worn by workmen over other clothes to protect them from wet, dirt, etc.) is attested from 1897.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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