[Ads-l] after all: reinforcement for an earlier statement

Barretts Mail mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Mon Dec 10 17:04:32 UTC 2018

The Cambridge Dictionary (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/after-all <https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/after-all>) has two definitions for “after all”:

despite earlier problems or doubts
used to add information that shows that what you have just said is true

Wiktionary (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/after_all <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/after_all>) has a waffling meaning similar to the second one:
Anyway, in any case; indicates a statement is true regardless of other considerations; used to reinforce or explain a point.

MacMillan (https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/after-all <https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/after-all>): used when giving a reason to explain what you have just said
Collins (https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/after-all <https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/after-all>): You use after all when introducing a statement which supports or helps explain something you have just said.
Longman (https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/after-all <https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/after-all>): used to say that something should be remembered or considered, because it helps to explain what you have just said

The English OLD, Merriam-Webster and the default Google dictionary miss this meaning:
English OLD: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/after_all <https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/after_all>
Merriam-Webster (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/after%20all <https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/after%20all>), which nevertheless has the meaning “in view of all circumstances”, which I don’t quite understand. Perhaps means the same thing as "Everything else having been considered; ultimately” found in The Free Dictionary (https://www.thefreedictionary.com/after+all <https://www.thefreedictionary.com/after+all>).

Benjamin Barrett
Formerly of Seattle, WA

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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