Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial.
1. Everything or everyone, with the exclusion of. All but the freshmen were invited to the party. We sold all but the curtains in that estate sale.
2. Nearly. Public pay phones have all but disappeared in most major cities.
Almost, nearly, as in I've all but finished the book. This expression was used by Andrew Marvell in "Thoughts in a Garden": " Society is all but rude, To this delicious solitude." [Late 1500s]
1 almost: The snow all but covered the path, making it difficult to walk. ♢ The patient was all but dead when the doctor arrived.
2 all (the people or things mentioned) except...: ‘Have you done your homework?’ ‘Yes, all but the last two questions.’
Nearly; almost: all but crying with relief.