be-all and end-all



Alternative formsEdit


be-all and end-all

  1. (idiomatic) Something considered to be of the utmost importance; something essential or ultimate.
    He thought that cars were the be-all and end-all of life.
    Profit is the be-all and end-all of business.
    • 2014, A teacher, "Choosing a primary school: a teacher's guide for parents", The Guardian, 23 September 2014:
      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.


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