overall

The overall meaning of the word overall is that it covers all the parts of something. For example, the individual parts don't matter as much as the overall value.

The word overall is the sum of its parts. Take the word over, meaning "above," and add it to the word all, meaning "everything" and you get overall, meaning "above everything". But remember, it's an adjective as in the overall impression of the music, the overall effect of the new tax code, the overall direction (as opposed to individual little changes.) Remember that overalls, the clothes you wore as a kid, went "over all" your other clothes.

Primary Meanings of overall

1.
adj
including everything
2.
n
(usually plural) work clothing consisting of denim trousers (usually with a bib and shoulder straps)
Full Definitions of overall
1

adj including everything

“the overall cost”
Synonyms:
gross
before any deductions

adj involving only main features

“the overall pattern of his life”
Synonyms:
general
applying to all or most members of a category or group
2

n (usually plural) work clothing consisting of denim trousers (usually with a bib and shoulder straps)

Type of:
work-clothes, work-clothing
clothing worn for doing manual labor

n a loose protective coverall or smock worn over ordinary clothing for dirty work

Synonyms:
boilers suit, boilersuit
Type of:
coverall
a loose-fitting protective garment that is worn over other clothing

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a life-long learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.