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All hours


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Irregular times, as in You can’t come home at all hours and expect your supper to be ready. The expression can also mean “late at night,” as in College students like to stay up talking until all hours. It is sometimes amplified into all hours of the day and night. [ c. 1930 ]


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  • All-important

    extremely or vitally important; essential. Contemporary Examples Piketty only waves his hands around the all-important question of whether economic inequality undermines democracy. American Democracy Under Threat for 250 Years Jedediah Purdy December 27, 2014 But the mere possibility of it helps keep the all-important passion alive. The Look That Defined Fashion Week Robin Givhan September […]

  • All in

    Wrestling. without restrictions; with virtually every type of hold permitted. Jazz. performed by all members of the group; played ensemble: An all-in refrain followed the solos. British. with extras included; inclusive: at the all-in rate. the whole of (used in referring to quantity, extent, or duration): all the cake; all the way; all year. the […]

  • All in a day’s work

    Also, all in the day’s work. Expected and normal, as in He said I had to finish these reports by five o’clock—all in the day’s work. This phrase is sometimes used as an ironic comment on an unpleasant but not abnormal situation. The expression possibly alludes to the nautical term day’s work, defined in 1789 […]

  • All in all

    the whole of (used in referring to quantity, extent, or duration): all the cake; all the way; all year. the whole number of (used in referring to individuals or particulars, taken collectively): all students. the greatest possible (used in referring to quality or degree): with all due respect; with all speed. every: all kinds; all […]

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