all the difference in the world

Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

all the difference in the world

The greatest degree of difference that is possible or conceivable. Without the verbs "mean" or "make," it is used to compare two disparate things. There's all the difference in the world between knowing how to play and actually performing on the field. I was sympathetic at first, but finding out you didn't even study for the test makes all the difference in the world. You're grounded!
See also: all, difference, world
References in classic literature ?
His having won her once makes all the difference in the world.
But they's all the difference in the world between a decent amount of work an' workin' your head off.
And there is all the difference in the world between paying and being paid.
And then he spoke--a minute sooner or a minute later might have made all the difference in the world to three lives --but chance stepped in and pointed out to Clayton the psychological moment.
But I swiftly discovered that there was all the difference in the world between shooting men who are attacking and men who are doing nothing more than simply refusing to obey.
There is all the difference in the world in the servants of Southern establishments, according to the character and capacity of the mistresses who have brought them up.