all the

Idioms & Phrases

all the

  1. Even, more so, as in Painting the room white will make it all the lighter, or They liked her all the better for not pretending, or You don't care for dessert? Good, all the more for us. Used to underscore a comparison, this idiom was used by Shakespeare in As You Like It (1:2): "All the better; we shall be the more marketable." [Late 1500s] For a synonym, see so much the.

  2. The entire amount of, as in These cousins were all the family he had. In this usage all the is short for all of the. [Ninth century a.d.]

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