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    #1

    all-out effort

    Good greetings!

    I just discovered the phrase "all-out effort" in a dictionary and wonder what "all-out" really implies here. Does it mean "effort with all one's might and main" or "effort available anywhere". The latter would be totally preposterous. The overall phrase, however, makes it sound as if efforts are available out somewhere. I was always under the impression that efforts are from within, though.

    Here's what the dictionary asserts:

    all-outadj1. using one's maximum powers: an all-out effort.

    Given this, could one say "He expends an all-out effort to ensure the authenticity of the information he provides."?

    Thank you.

  1. probus's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: all-out effort

    The dictionary you consulted is right. They almost always are. Being right is their core business, after all.

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    #3

    Re: all-out effort

    I would say: "He goes all out to ensure...".

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    #4

    Re: all-out effort

    Welcome to the forums, Sally.

    Click here to read definitions from many other dictionaries, and bookmark the OneLook site for future reference.

    Mike's suggestion above is fine, as he used 'all out' adverbially. It's the adjective 'all-out' which is always hyphenated.

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    #5

    Re: all-out effort

    all–out

    adjective \ˈȯl-ˈau̇t\ : made or done with as much effort as possible
    : fully developed
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/all-out

    I always assumed that this came from "all stops out". Pipe organs have stops. The more you open (pull out), the more pipes comes into play.
    http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/...+all+the+stops

    Note: "the dictionary" doesn't mean much here. It should be stated what dictionary you're referring to. If I wanted to be perverse, I could easily claim that "the dictionary" doesn't say that at all.

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    #6

    Re: all-out effort

    Thank you, everyone, for your opinions and suggestions. They are highly regarded and appreciated. I am, however, sorry to say that my questions are still unanswered. I would, therefore, be very grateful if you could kindly address them, too.

    MNY, could you please tell me how "going all out" would be different from "expending an all-out effort" in effect (if so)?

    Thank you, again.

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    #7

    Re: all-out effort

    Quote Originally Posted by Silly Sally View Post
    Thank you, everyone, for your opinions and suggestions. They are highly regarded and appreciated. I am, however, sorry to say that my questions are still unanswered. I would, therefore, be very grateful if you could kindly address them, too.

    MNY, could you please tell me how "going all out" would be different from "expending an all-out effort" in effect (if so)?

    Thank you, again.
    Mike's suggestion was a more natural expression. There is no difference in meaning between "going all out" and "expending an all-out effort."

    The efforts, as you put it, are not "out" there somewhere. They do come from within. They are in you and you bring them all out. You leave nothing inside of you. It is "all out."

    Think of a runner in a race. It does him or her no good to keep some energy in reserve when the finish line is coming up. They need to expend all of their energy. Anything they have in reserve needs to come out.

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    #8

    Re: all-out effort

    Thank you, SoothingDave. Your explanation is really soothing. May God bless all of you. :)

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