What is an all-nighter?

Staying awake all night

When someone says they pulled an all-nighter, it means they stayed awake all night. Most frequently, students pull all-nighters to finish essays, research papers, or other hmwk they could have finished weeks ago, if only they hadn't procrastinated.

Other reasons someone might pull an all-nighter include:

  • If their job requires them to work a long night shift
  • If they're binge-watching a TV show
  • If they're playing an enthralling video game
  • If they're a computer programmer or writer who doesn't know when to stop working and go to sleep

People engaging in all-nighters frequently use coffee, caffeinated sodas, or other stimulants to help them stay awake. They also tend to crash at some point the next day, as the human body isn't meant to function on zero sleep.


God, I haven't pulled an all-nighter since before I was 30. I'm not even sure I could anymore
All-nighters catch up with you eventually
All-nighters catch up with you eventually

Related Slang


Updated September 1, 2022

All-nighter definition by

This page explains what the slang term "All-nighter" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the team.

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