whole nine yards, the

the whole nine yards

The entirety of what's possible or available; all the related elements of something. Wow, Shelly really went the whole nine yards with toppings for the ice cream bar. There's much more than just whipped cream and sprinkles here! I want a traditional wedding, with the cake, the dress—the whole nine yards.
See also: nine, whole, yard

whole nine yards, the

Everything that is relevant; the whole thing. For example, He decided to take everything to college-his books, his stereo, his computer, his skis, the whole nine yards . The source of this expression is not known, but there are several possibilities: the amount of cloth required to make a complete suit of clothes; the fully set sails of a three-masted ship where each mast carries three yards, that is, spars, to support the sails; or the amount of cement (in cubic yards) contained in a cement mixer for a big construction job. [Colloquial]
See also: nine, whole
References in periodicals archive ?
Along Came Polly, The Whole Nine Yards, The Longest Yard, Clockwatchers, Lost In Space.
Mission dislodged The Whole Nine Yards, the hit-man comedy starring Bruce Willis as the assassin and Friends' Matthew Perry, from the number one spot after three weeks.