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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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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.’
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
Nearly; almost: all but crying with relief.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.