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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 ABC can never be all things to all people, but it can be the means by which different Australians talk to each other.’
    • ‘The Liberals want to be all things to all people.’
    • ‘Simply put, like the Toronto event, it is expected to be all things to all people.’
    • ‘I'd like to just say that politicians would like to be all things to all people.’
    • ‘The government can't 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’
      • ‘It is trying to be all things to all people, while selling upmarket food.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘Radio 1 tries to be all things to all people in terms of the music that it covers,’ Bryce argues.’
      • ‘We decided to make the flower show element excellent rather than trying to be all things to all people.’
      • ‘The time is past for newspapers to be all things to all people.’
      • ‘Like all plans, it works for some and not for others - no plan can be all things to all people.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘You may not be able to be all things to all people, but when it comes to dairy packaging, the industry is sure trying.’
      • ‘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.’