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1. In spite of a previous action or situation. Used in this way, it typically emphasizes a change in plans. Ray's work schedule changed, so he'll be able to visit us after all.
2. In consideration of; considering. Used in this way, "after all" appears in conjunction with a reason that the speaker wants to the listener to think about. Be nice to Jason. He had a hard day at work, after all. You should visit your mother more often—after all, she won't live forever.
1. anyway; in spite of what had been decided. (Often refers to a change in plans or a reversal of plans.) It looks like Tom will go to law school after all.
2. recalling or considering the fact that. Don't punish Tommy! After all, he's only three years old!
1. Despite everything, nevertheless, as in The plane took off half an hour late but landed on time after all.
2. After everything else has been considered, ultimately, as in Mary has final approval of the guest list; after all, it's her wedding. The two usages are pronounced differently, the first giving stress to the word after and the second to the word all. Both date from the early 1700s. Also see when all is said and done.
1 used to show that something is the opposite of what you first intend to do or expect to happen: I think I will have something to eat after all. ♢ We could have left our coats at home — it didn’t rain after all.
2 used when you are explaining something or giving a reason: Can’t I stay up late tonight? After all, there’s no school tomorrow! ♢ You got a fair price for your car. It’s six years old, after all.
1. In spite of everything to the contrary; nevertheless: We chose to take the train after all.
2. Everything else having been considered; ultimately: A car is after all a means of transportation.