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When you say “I wouldn't do it for all the tea in China!” you are talking about every single leaf of tea in the entire country of China. That's a lot of tea.

When you talk about all of one thing, you mean the whole thing. When Shakespeare writes, in As You Like It, “All the world's a stage,” he means the whole world. When I ask, “Did you eat all of the pie?” I mean, “Is there a piece left for me?”. If you are "all upset" about something, you are very upset; what's upset you has got a hold of you. Would some pie cheer you up?

Definitions of all
  1. adverb
    to a complete degree or to the full or entire extent (`whole' is often used informally for `wholly')
    “the directions were all wrong”
    synonyms: altogether, completely, entirely, totally, whole, wholly
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    Antonyms:
    part, partially, partly
    in part; in some degree; not wholly
  2. adjective
    quantifier; used with either mass or count nouns to indicate the whole number or amount of or every one of a class
    “we sat up all night”
    “ate all the food”
    all men are mortal”
    all parties are welcome”
    Synonyms:
    each
    (used of count nouns) every one considered individually
    every
    (used of count nouns) each and all of the members of a group considered singly and without exception
    every last
    (used as intensive) every
    every
    each and all of a series of entities or intervals as specified
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    Antonyms:
    some
    quantifier; used with either mass nouns or plural count nouns to indicate an unspecified number or quantity
    no
    quantifier; used with either mass nouns or plural count nouns for indicating a complete or almost complete lack or zero quantity of
    many
    a quantifier that can be used with count nouns and is often preceded by `as' or `too' or `so' or `that'; amounting to a large but indefinite number
    few
    a quantifier that can be used with count nouns and is often preceded by `a'; a small but indefinite number
    any, whatever, whatsoever
    one or some or every or all without specification
    both
    (used with count nouns) two considered together; the two
    several
    (used with count nouns) of an indefinite number more than 2 or 3 but not many
    nary
    (used with singular count nouns) colloquial for `not a' or `not one' or `never a'
    none
    not any
    zero
    having no measurable or otherwise determinable value
    show more antonyms...
  3. adjective
    completely given to or absorbed by
    “became all attention”
    Synonyms:
    complete
    having every necessary or normal part or component or step
Word Family
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