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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 15, 2011

Many improbable catastrophes might wreck the all-important Iran negotiations.
Iranian Bombs and Black Swans in the Nuclear Negotiations Christopher Dickey December 16, 2013

During these all-important weeks of non-stop schmoozing before Oscar ballots are due, Bening has been a red-carpet regular.
The Looming Oscar Smackdown Nicole LaPorte November 30, 2010

Despite this all-important class difference, Beatriz married the blacksmith.
The Jewish Conquistadors Edward Kritzler December 20, 2008

Historical Examples

We should have the keys of the door that led to the all-important rooms.
The Prisoner of Zenda Anthony Hope

This all-important route, between Europe and Asia, would be under the control of the French crown.
The Adventures of the Chevalier De La Salle and His Companions, in Their Explorations of the Prairies, Forests, Lakes, and Rivers, of the New World, and Their Interviews with the Savage Tribes, Two Hundred Years Ago John S. C. Abbott

What he said may be nothing, but the fact that he said it is all-important.
Egotism in German Philosophy George Santayana

The third step—the all-important final step—was about to begin.
Wizard Laurence Mark Janifer (AKA Larry M. Harris)

Runners were sent into the jungle to procure the all-important macasla herb, and that night the mixture was prepared.
The Adventures of Piang the Moro Jungle Boy Florence Partello Stuart

crucial; vital


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  • 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 […]

  • All in good time

    see: in good time

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