From Middle English overall, overal, from Old English ofer eall, ofer ealle (“over all”), equivalent to over + all. Compare Saterland Frisian oural, uural (“everywhere”), West Frisian oeral (“everywhere”), Dutch overal (“everywhere”), German Low German overall, överall (“everywhere; all over”), German überall (“all over; everywhere”), Danish overalt (“everywhere”), Swedish överallt (“everywhere; overall”).
- All-encompassing, all around.
1949, W. Keith Hancock and Margaret M. Gowing, British War Economy:
- We believe also that a controlled economy cannot be understood without some overall view of the controlling institutions: hence our short studies — shorter by far than the original drafts — of the central administration.
- Generally; with everything considered.
(Can we add an example for this sense?)
overall (plural overalls)
- (Britain) A garment worn over other clothing to protect it; a coverall or boiler suit. A garment, for manual labor or for casual wear, often made of a single piece of fabric, with long legs and a bib upper, supported from the shoulders with straps, and having several large pockets and loops for carrying tools.
- (in the plural, US) A garment, worn for manual labor, with an integral covering extending to the chest, supported by straps.
- overall in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- overall in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911