Definition of nine tenths in English:

nine tenths


  • Nearly all.

    ‘nine tenths of his life consisted of doing things he disliked’
    • ‘Though exaggerated, their point is still well-taken: nine tenths of the string-player's skill lies in the bow-arm, and it is easier to get the result you want with a superior bow on a bad cello than with a student bow on a fine instrument.’
    • ‘But of course in patent law especially, possession is nine tenths of the law.’
    • ‘In music, pretension is nine tenths of the charts, but trade a bit of that pretentiousness and you can uncover gems.’
    • ‘I hear the average person in my small town, and I can't understand nine tenths of what they say.’
    • ‘He's young, supremely fit, handsome and incredibly wealthy so I can't think why nine tenths of the female population of the world, let alone Madrid, wouldn't fancy a tango with him.’