I learned that "all in" is an informal way to say exhausted. Is it more common to say "I am exhausted" or to use "I am all in"?

  • I've never heard "all in" used that way, so it can't be too common (though I see it in the dictionary.) I'm exhausted, I'm totally wiped (out), I'm done in I've heard. Maybe it's British? Or very regional? Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 23:32
  • I've heard "all in" used exactly this way, but mostly from persons of British extraction, who also say "fagged out" in the same way.
    – Zan700
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 0:00
  • I'd say that one should avoid using "all in" (in this sense) until one is comfortable saying it. There are plenty of alternatives that are less likely to be messed up somehow.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 0:04
  • @Hot Licks: It's a perfectly ordinary usage in BrE, as is the equivalent done in. Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 2:18
  • @FumbleFingers - I didn't say it wasn't "perfectly normal". But for someone not quite comfortable with the language there is a definite danger of the term being understood as having one of its other meanings, since context is quite important in this case.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 11:47

2 Answers 2


The usage of "all in" OP asks about seems to be a British articulation which I cannot speak to. For what it's worth, while the idiom appears to have originated as a poker metaphor, contemporary usage in AmE of "all in" (which, in my experience, no longer seems to connote with exhaustion) has expanded well beyond poker and is now applied (especially in sports) to any contested situation whose resolution involves the investment of time, energy, and material resources. "all in" means TOTAL COMMITMENT, unreserved and without limitation. Urban Dictionary

  • 1
    +1. This is the sense I'm familiar with. Never heard it being used to mean exhausted.
    – Tushar Raj
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 6:00
  • That’s a different meaning than the one asked about, though. Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 15:59
  • @Janus Bahs Jacquet - good lookin out, I've amended. Did you get my 'ping' of thanks for yesterday's lesson in 'anaphora'? :-)
    – user98990
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 16:44
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    Yes, that would be it—pinging only works when commenting and only when you ping someone who ‘exists in the thread’ (i.e., the person who asked the question, the person who wrote the answer you’re commenting on, or someone who’s commented on the same question/answer that you’re commenting on). If I tried pinging Brian Hitchcock (who commented on Jonatan’s answer below) in a comment to your answer, he wouldn’t see it, either. Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 18:04
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    @anemone - I rather liked, 'punged.'
    – user98990
    Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 14:10

all in 1. Tired; exhausted. 2. Games Staking all of one's chips, as in poker. 3. Putting all of one's available resources into an effort: The governor mounted a half-hearted campaign for the presidency but didn't go all in.


  • Yes, but I would just say that for definition #3, all out is far more common. Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 2:15
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    Also this amswer makes no attempt to address the actual question. It wasn't about whether "all in " could mean "exhausted", but rather about whether it is more common/idiomatic to use "exhausted". Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 7:02
  • @BrianHitchcock, by giving the definitions you can give the idea when to use the expression: 1) When you're exhausted: "I'm all in, guys. Count me out!" When you look someone exhausted: "You look all in... get some rest." 2) When you play poker: "I bet all in..." 3) when you do your best stint, example aforementioned. And I add: 4) When you say "all inclusive": "The flight cost me 200 pounds, all in." Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 23:06
  • Excellent. Perhaps you could add those examples to your answer. Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 7:26

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