"be-all and end-all" meaning in English

See be-all and end-all in All languages combined, or Wiktionary

Noun

Audio: en-au-be-all and end-all.ogg [Australia]
Head templates: {{en-noun|be-alls and end-alls|head=be-all and end-all}} be-all and end-all (plural be-alls and end-alls) Forms: be-alls and end-alls [plural]
  1. (idiomatic) Something considered to be of the utmost importance; something essential or ultimate. Tags: idiomatic
    Sense id: be-all_and_end-all-en-noun-nIYztIEF Synonyms: be-all end-all, end-all be-all, end-all and be-all Related terms: raison d'être Translations (Something considered to be of the utmost importance): ἀρχὴ καὶ τέλος (arkhḕ kaì télos) (Ancient Greek), první a poslední (Czech), kaikki kaikessa (Finnish), raison d'être [feminine] (French), A und O [neuter] (German), Wichtigste [neuter] (German), Daseinsgrund [masculine] (German), Maß aller Dinge [neuter] (German), das ist auch nicht alles [negative] (German), razão de ser [feminine] (Portuguese)

Inflected forms

Alternative forms

Download JSON data for be-all and end-all meaning in English (3.2kB)

{
  "forms": [
    {
      "form": "be-alls and end-alls",
      "tags": [
        "plural"
      ]
    }
  ],
  "head_templates": [
    {
      "args": {
        "1": "be-alls and end-alls",
        "head": "be-all and end-all"
      },
      "expansion": "be-all and end-all (plural be-alls and end-alls)",
      "name": "en-noun"
    }
  ],
  "lang": "English",
  "lang_code": "en",
  "pos": "noun",
  "senses": [
    {
      "categories": [],
      "examples": [
        {
          "text": "He thought that cars were the be-all and end-all of life."
        },
        {
          "text": "Profit is the be-all and end-all of business."
        },
        {
          "ref": "a. 1606, Shakespeare, William, Macbeth, act 1, scene 7, lines 4–5",
          "text": "That but this blow / Might be the be-all and the end-all!",
          "type": "quotation"
        },
        {
          "ref": "2014-09-23, A teacher, “Choosing a primary school: a teacher's guide for parents”, in The Guardian",
          "text": "The compulsory tests in reading, writing and maths at the end of years 2 and 6 are often mistakenly seen as the be-all and end-all of a child's chances in life, and the quality of their school.",
          "type": "quotation"
        }
      ],
      "glosses": [
        "Something considered to be of the utmost importance; something essential or ultimate."
      ],
      "id": "be-all_and_end-all-en-noun-nIYztIEF",
      "raw_glosses": [
        "(idiomatic) Something considered to be of the utmost importance; something essential or ultimate."
      ],
      "related": [
        {
          "word": "raison d'être"
        }
      ],
      "synonyms": [
        {
          "word": "be-all end-all"
        },
        {
          "word": "end-all be-all"
        },
        {
          "word": "end-all and be-all"
        }
      ],
      "tags": [
        "idiomatic"
      ],
      "translations": [
        {
          "code": "cs",
          "lang": "Czech",
          "sense": "Something considered to be of the utmost importance",
          "word": "první a poslední"
        },
        {
          "code": "fi",
          "lang": "Finnish",
          "sense": "Something considered to be of the utmost importance",
          "word": "kaikki kaikessa"
        },
        {
          "code": "fr",
          "lang": "French",
          "sense": "Something considered to be of the utmost importance",
          "tags": [
            "feminine"
          ],
          "word": "raison d'être"
        },
        {
          "code": "de",
          "lang": "German",
          "sense": "Something considered to be of the utmost importance",
          "tags": [
            "neuter"
          ],
          "word": "A und O"
        },
        {
          "code": "de",
          "lang": "German",
          "sense": "Something considered to be of the utmost importance",
          "tags": [
            "neuter"
          ],
          "word": "Wichtigste"
        },
        {
          "code": "de",
          "lang": "German",
          "sense": "Something considered to be of the utmost importance",
          "tags": [
            "masculine"
          ],
          "word": "Daseinsgrund"
        },
        {
          "code": "de",
          "lang": "German",
          "sense": "Something considered to be of the utmost importance",
          "tags": [
            "neuter"
          ],
          "word": "Maß aller Dinge"
        },
        {
          "code": "de",
          "lang": "German",
          "sense": "Something considered to be of the utmost importance",
          "tags": [
            "negative"
          ],
          "word": "das ist auch nicht alles"
        },
        {
          "code": "grc",
          "lang": "Ancient Greek",
          "roman": "arkhḕ kaì télos",
          "sense": "Something considered to be of the utmost importance",
          "word": "ἀρχὴ καὶ τέλος"
        },
        {
          "code": "pt",
          "lang": "Portuguese",
          "sense": "Something considered to be of the utmost importance",
          "tags": [
            "feminine"
          ],
          "word": "razão de ser"
        }
      ]
    }
  ],
  "sounds": [
    {
      "audio": "en-au-be-all and end-all.ogg",
      "mp3_url": "https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/transcoded/d/d7/En-au-be-all_and_end-all.ogg/En-au-be-all_and_end-all.ogg.mp3",
      "ogg_url": "https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d7/En-au-be-all_and_end-all.ogg",
      "tags": [
        "Australia"
      ],
      "text": "Audio (AU)"
    }
  ],
  "word": "be-all and end-all"
}
{
  "forms": [
    {
      "form": "be-alls and end-alls",
      "tags": [
        "plural"
      ]
    }
  ],
  "head_templates": [
    {
      "args": {
        "1": "be-alls and end-alls",
        "head": "be-all and end-all"
      },
      "expansion": "be-all and end-all (plural be-alls and end-alls)",
      "name": "en-noun"
    }
  ],
  "lang": "English",
  "lang_code": "en",
  "pos": "noun",
  "related": [
    {
      "word": "raison d'être"
    }
  ],
  "senses": [
    {
      "categories": [
        "English countable nouns",
        "English idioms",
        "English lemmas",
        "English multiword terms",
        "English nouns",
        "English terms with audio links",
        "English terms with quotations"
      ],
      "examples": [
        {
          "text": "He thought that cars were the be-all and end-all of life."
        },
        {
          "text": "Profit is the be-all and end-all of business."
        },
        {
          "ref": "a. 1606, Shakespeare, William, Macbeth, act 1, scene 7, lines 4–5",
          "text": "That but this blow / Might be the be-all and the end-all!",
          "type": "quotation"
        },
        {
          "ref": "2014-09-23, A teacher, “Choosing a primary school: a teacher's guide for parents”, in The Guardian",
          "text": "The compulsory tests in reading, writing and maths at the end of years 2 and 6 are often mistakenly seen as the be-all and end-all of a child's chances in life, and the quality of their school.",
          "type": "quotation"
        }
      ],
      "glosses": [
        "Something considered to be of the utmost importance; something essential or ultimate."
      ],
      "raw_glosses": [
        "(idiomatic) Something considered to be of the utmost importance; something essential or ultimate."
      ],
      "tags": [
        "idiomatic"
      ]
    }
  ],
  "sounds": [
    {
      "audio": "en-au-be-all and end-all.ogg",
      "mp3_url": "https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/transcoded/d/d7/En-au-be-all_and_end-all.ogg/En-au-be-all_and_end-all.ogg.mp3",
      "ogg_url": "https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d7/En-au-be-all_and_end-all.ogg",
      "tags": [
        "Australia"
      ],
      "text": "Audio (AU)"
    }
  ],
  "synonyms": [
    {
      "word": "be-all end-all"
    },
    {
      "word": "end-all be-all"
    },
    {
      "word": "end-all and be-all"
    }
  ],
  "translations": [
    {
      "code": "cs",
      "lang": "Czech",
      "sense": "Something considered to be of the utmost importance",
      "word": "první a poslední"
    },
    {
      "code": "fi",
      "lang": "Finnish",
      "sense": "Something considered to be of the utmost importance",
      "word": "kaikki kaikessa"
    },
    {
      "code": "fr",
      "lang": "French",
      "sense": "Something considered to be of the utmost importance",
      "tags": [
        "feminine"
      ],
      "word": "raison d'être"
    },
    {
      "code": "de",
      "lang": "German",
      "sense": "Something considered to be of the utmost importance",
      "tags": [
        "neuter"
      ],
      "word": "A und O"
    },
    {
      "code": "de",
      "lang": "German",
      "sense": "Something considered to be of the utmost importance",
      "tags": [
        "neuter"
      ],
      "word": "Wichtigste"
    },
    {
      "code": "de",
      "lang": "German",
      "sense": "Something considered to be of the utmost importance",
      "tags": [
        "masculine"
      ],
      "word": "Daseinsgrund"
    },
    {
      "code": "de",
      "lang": "German",
      "sense": "Something considered to be of the utmost importance",
      "tags": [
        "neuter"
      ],
      "word": "Maß aller Dinge"
    },
    {
      "code": "de",
      "lang": "German",
      "sense": "Something considered to be of the utmost importance",
      "tags": [
        "negative"
      ],
      "word": "das ist auch nicht alles"
    },
    {
      "code": "grc",
      "lang": "Ancient Greek",
      "roman": "arkhḕ kaì télos",
      "sense": "Something considered to be of the utmost importance",
      "word": "ἀρχὴ καὶ τέλος"
    },
    {
      "code": "pt",
      "lang": "Portuguese",
      "sense": "Something considered to be of the utmost importance",
      "tags": [
        "feminine"
      ],
      "word": "razão de ser"
    }
  ],
  "word": "be-all and end-all"
}

This page is a part of the kaikki.org machine-readable English dictionary. This dictionary is based on structured data extracted on 2023-02-04 from the enwiktionary dump dated 2023-02-01 using wiktextract.

If you use this data in academic research, please cite Tatu Ylonen: Wiktextract: Wiktionary as Machine-Readable Structured Data, Proceedings of the 13th Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC), pp. 1317-1325, Marseille, 20-25 June 2022. Linking to the relevant page(s) under https://kaikki.org would also be greatly appreciated.

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