Definition of all at once in US English:

all at once

phrase

  • 1Without warning; suddenly.

    ‘all at once the noise stopped’
    • ‘But all at once, in the midst of his gay careless life came his tragedy; he fell in love with a hatter's wife.’
    • ‘The experienced safari guides seem to have an innate empathy with the nature all around, and all at once you feel at ease.’
    • ‘Engineers preparing to replace the cables and computers discovered that the cables had degraded so much over the past 50 years that the work needed to be done all at once.’
    • ‘Through it all, he is optimistic that he can succeed, not all at once, but over time.’
    • ‘The sounds struck her all at once, as if the volume on her ears had suddenly been turned up.’
    • ‘The problem with most smokers is that they try giving up all at once.’
    • ‘When he finally did put her words together, it hit him all at once like a ton of bricks.’
    • ‘We were in the process of writing a new song and I knew all at once that these words would fit it perfectly.’
    suddenly, abruptly, immediately, instantaneously, instantly, in an instant, straight away, all of a sudden, at once, all at once, promptly, in a trice, swiftly
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  • 2All at the same time.

    ‘scared and excited all at once’
    • ‘Now it doesn't take much arithmetic to work out that you can't give a hot meal to 17 people all at once.’
    • ‘Twenty-two years of diving and never a sniff of one of the leviathans of the sea, then suddenly dozens of whale sharks turn up all at once.’
    • ‘Daycare's about keeping everyone happy and busy and distracted all at once.’
    • ‘Set up a group list with all your buds' e-mail addresses, and write to them all at once.’
    • ‘Everything was suddenly catching up with me all at once, and I could barely separate one realisation from the other.’
    • ‘Cost-wise, it makes sense to collect several updates together and release them all at once.’
    • ‘I pointed to them and as she reached out to hand me a few, the picture of us suddenly made me want to laugh and cry all at once.’
    • ‘Add the bean sprouts all at once and leave for 20 seconds, then add the spring onions, stir well, and drain.’
    • ‘She was nervous and excited and anxious and hundreds of other things all at once.’
    • ‘The dancers mix it up quite a bit, performing together all at once, as well as in trios, duos and solo pieces.’
    together, all together, as a group, in a body, as one, as a whole, in a mass, wholesale
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