What Does All the Rage Mean?

All the Rage Meaning

Definition: Refers to a trend or something that is popular.

The phrase all the rage refers to something that is immensely popular at a given time. It is used to refer to past, present, and future trends.

All the rage is most commonly used to refer to trends that are popular in the present moment, especially those that will only remain so for a short period of time.

Origin of and Ways to Use All the Rage

Nearly one hundred years before the full phrase all the rage appeared in print, the rage was used to refer to something that was immensely popular.

The rage was first used in this context in 1785, in European Magazine:

  • The favourite phrases…The Rage, the Thing, the Twaddle, and the Bore.

meaning of all the rageThe full phrase did not appear in print until 1870.

This phrase can be confusing because of the other meanings of the word rage. Typically, rage refers to a state of intense anger. This definition contradicts the meaning of the full phrase all the rage. However, another definition of rage is a passion or desire for something. The full phrase may have originated from this meaning of rage.

Examples of All the Rage

define all of the rageThis phrase can only be used in one way, which is to refer to a trend or something that is popular.

This example exchange between two friends illustrates the correct use of this phrase.

Belle: I really like your scarf!

Amanda: Thanks! Cheetah print is all the rage right now.

More Examples

  • It’s 2017, but 1984 is all the rage. George Orwell’s chilling 1949 classic, long a staple of classrooms, is No. 1 on USA TODAY’s list this week. – USA Today
  • Now, faux sun-kissed facial blotches are all the rage — made with pencils, stencil-like adhesives, or even etched semipermanently into the skin with pigments. – NY Post

Summary

The English phrase all the rage refers to a fad, trend, or anything that is popular, particularly for a short period of time. It can be used to refer to past or future trends, but is most commonly used to refer to things that are popular in the present.