Pull an all-nighter

Working through the night

If you’ve stayed up all night, from dusk until dawn, then you’ve pulled an all-nighter. We use the term "all-nighter" to refer to an event that lasts through the night into the morning. This term is often associated with school and work, and it is used to say that a person stayed up all night to study for a test or complete a task.

The expression "all-nighter" is normally used with the verb "pull." If someone pulls an all-nighter, it is usually because they have a lot of work to complete within a short timeframe and they have to work through the night to finish it. This expression can be used informally to talk about your personal and professional life. For example:

  • I haven’t had enough time to study this week so I'm going to pull an all-nighter tonight. Hopefully I can learn everything in time for the exam tomorrow.
  • Jason is falling asleep at his desk today because he pulled an all-nighter yesterday.

A. Guys, I’m stressing out! I don’t think we’re going to be able to finish our report in time for tomorrow’s meeting.
B. Don’t worry. If we pull an all-nighter, we’ll be able to get everything done. Let’s go get some coffee.

Did you know? Although "all-nighter" technically means that the event or activity lasted through the night until morning, this expression can also be used informally to say that a person stayed up very late and got little sleep.