What is a be-all and end-all?

What is a be-all and end-all? Here are some definitions.

Noun
  1. (idiomatic) Something considered to be of the utmost importance; something essential or ultimate.
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Examples
Whilst qualifications are not the be-all and end-all of life, I am intensely proud of my achievements.
I still love acting but it's not the be-all and end-all any more.
A lot of people see speed cameras as the be-all and end-all of traffic management.
Already there is talk of him standing down after his next term, with close associates saying that he never really regarded politics as the be-all and end-all.
She's their panacea, the be-all and end-all of publicity stunts, an icon ready made for media and the furthering of agendas.
One of the most obvious ground covers is ivy but it's by no means the be-all and end-all.

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