What Does After All is Said and Done Mean?

After All is Said and Done Meaning

Definition: When everything is finished and things have settled; also, when everything has been considered.

This phrase is used to summarize an experience or to draw conclusions about an argument.

It is also used to emphasize the most important point for someone to remember about a situation. For example,

  • When all is said and done, summer is the best season of the year.

There may be other facts about the seasons to consider, but, ultimately, summer is the best.

Origin of After All is Said and Done

Define after it is said and doneAccording to the American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms, the first written recording of this phrase was in 1560. There is no reference, however, to who wrote it.

We do know that Aesop, a Greek slave (ca. 620-564 BC), wrote the phrase as the moral of his fable The Tortoise and the Hare, though it wouldn’t have been in English.

The translated phrase was,

  • After all is said and done, more is said than done.

Example of After All is Said and Done

After all said and doneWhen everything about a situation settles and you have finished the event or activity, you usually use this phrase.

For example,

  • When all is said and done, I had a very good time on my vacation.

There may have been some problems or some incidents, but, overall, this person had a nice time. There may have even been things he didn’t like about the vacation, but, on the whole, it was a good time.

When you consider all aspects of a situation you might say,

  • When all is said and done, we can’t increase the tax rate without decreasing economic growth.

You can also use the phrase to emphasize a point,

  • When all is said and done, a child’s moral upbringing is the parents’ responsibility.

More Examples

  • Many dogs are treated as members of the family with whom they live… but after all is said and done, a dog is a dog. At law it is property, a domesticated animal that is owned. At law it enjoys no familial rights. –The Guardian
  • When all is said and done, though, 2017 could once again be the year of Disney (DIS). The studio has two more big Marvel releases (Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and Thor: Ragnarok) as well as a live-action version of Beauty and the Beast. –Fortune


After you have considered everything, good or bad, you lead in to the point you want to make with the phrase after all is said and done.