What does the idiom "all along" mean?

The phrase all along is often used in English, but what does this idiom mean? When idioms are used in the right situations, they strengthen communication and enrich the language. You can communicate more effectively by learning the meaning of all along.

Meaning of "all along"


The idiom “all along” is used to refer to something that has been true or taking place from the beginning of a situation until now. It implies that this was hidden or not known until now and is often used in situations that come as a surprise or when something has been revealed.


While the exact origins of the idiom “all along” are unknown, it is thought to be derived from the Middle English phrase “al-long”. This phrase was used to describe something that was “long” in duration, or that it extended all the way through or along a certain path. Over time, this phrase took on the meaning of “for a long time” or “all the time” and eventually evolved into the phrase “all along”.


The phrase “all along” is usually used informally in everyday conversations, often to show surprise or dismay at a situation. For example, someone might say “I had no idea she was lying all along” to express their surprise and disappointment that someone was not telling the truth for a period of time. It can also be used to show disbelief or incredulity, as in “I had no idea that was true all along”.

Example Sentences

  • I can’t believe she was lying to us all along.
  • I was shocked to find out that the story I was told all along was false.
  • It turns out that it was true all along.
  • He had been planning to go to college all along.
  • She had been hiding the truth all along.

The meanings of the words in the "all along" idiom

The Global Spread of English Idioms

As English has become a global language, its idioms have spread far beyond the borders of the UK and USA. For instance, the idiom "beat around the bush" has equivalents in many other languages, such as "tourner autour du pot" in French and "dar vueltas al asunto" in Spanish. Meanwhile, other idioms have been adapted for local contexts, such as the Russian idiom "?? ???? ???????" (ne svoya rubashka), which translates to "not one's own shirt," meaning to be in an uncomfortable or unfamiliar situation.


No comment has been written about all along yet, you can write the first comment and share your thoughts with our other visitors.
Leave a Reply