Definition of be all things to all men (or people) in English:

be all things to all men (or people)

phrase

  • 1Please everyone, typically by fitting in with their needs or expectations.

    ‘a politician running scared of the electorate and trying to be all things to all people’
    • ‘The government can't be all things to all people.’
    • ‘We do have an obligation, but we can't be all things to all people.’
    • ‘I believe that you cannot, at all times, try to be all things to all people.’
    • ‘The Liberals want to be all things to all people.’
    • ‘And it may require the reallocation of some of our resources, and we're going to have to understand that we can't be all things to all people.’
    • ‘I'd like to just say that politicians would like to be all things to all people.’
    • ‘The ABC can never be all things to all people, but it can be the means by which different Australians talk to each other.’
    • ‘It was a superb attempt to be all things to all men that culminated in a result that made everyone happy.’
    • ‘Of course, just as SAC cannot be all things to all people, the cultural strategy will not please everyone or meet all needs.’
    • ‘Simply put, like the Toronto event, it is expected to be all things to all people.’
    1. 1.1 Be able to be interpreted or used differently by different people.
      ‘multimedia is all things to all men’
      • ‘‘Radio 1 tries to be all things to all people in terms of the music that it covers,’ Bryce argues.’
      • ‘A local paper cannot be all things to all people but what it can aim for is to have something to interest a range of people from different walks of life.’
      • ‘‘You're asking a piece of wood to be all things to all people,’ he says.’
      • ‘The time is past for newspapers to be all things to all people.’
      • ‘It is trying to be all things to all people, while selling upmarket food.’
      • ‘These products would still use all the cool underlying Mozilla technology, but no longer would they try to be all things to all people, all at once.’
      • ‘Like all plans, it works for some and not for others - no plan can be all things to all people.’
      • ‘You may not be able to be all things to all people, but when it comes to dairy packaging, the industry is sure trying.’
      • ‘We decided to make the flower show element excellent rather than trying to be all things to all people.’
      • ‘Unix doesn't have to be all things to all people to be a great system; I don't understand why its fans can't accept that.’