What does the idiom "all in all" mean?

Idioms are generally defined as groups of words that form a meaningful whole when they come together, even though the words in them do not make sense on their own. They have produced many idioms according to their own cultural characteristics in communities using the English language. What does all in all mean? In what situations is all in all used?

Meaning of "all in all"


The idiom “all in all” is used to refer to a situation in its entirety, when the speaker takes into consideration all facts and information. In other words, they are encompassing the entire picture or situation and making a judgement on it from a holistic perspective. Additionally, “all in all” can imply that something is satisfactory or pleasing, despite any individual issues that may be present.


The phrase “all in all” is thought to have originated from the Bible, specifically found in the New Testament book of Corinthians. In Corinthians, the phrase is used to denote a complete unity or oneness with God (1 Corinthians 15:28). The phrase was later used in the 16th century in works of English literature and has been used in various forms since then.


The most common usage of the phrase “all in all” is that of a general statement. It can be used to describe an entire situation, such as with “all in all, it was a good experience” or “all in all, it was an enjoyable evening.” It can also be used in a more specific way, such as “all in all, he did a good job on the project” or “all in all, my team had a great performance.” It is typically used as a way to summarize a particular situation or experience and can be used in both negative and positive contexts.

Example Sentences

  • All in all, I think we had a successful trip.
  • All in all, we should be proud of the work we put in on the project.
  • All in all, I'm happy with the way the presentation turned out.
  • All in all, the birthday party was a great success.
  • All in all, the restaurant had a great atmosphere.

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

From One Language to Another: Idioms in Translation

Translating idioms from one language to another can be a tricky task, as the cultural context behind an idiom can be difficult to capture. For example, the French phrase "avoir le cafard" translates to "to have the cockroach," which means to feel down or depressed. Similarly, the Chinese idiom "????" (j?ng d? zh? w?) translates to "frog at the bottom of a well," which refers to someone with a narrow view of the world.


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