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on the whole

Definition of on the whole

  1. 1 —used to say what one thinks is true, what should be done, etc., when a situation is considered in a general way <On the whole, I think we've made progress from last week.> <On the whole, it seemed best to cut the visit short.>

  2. 2 :  in general :  in most cases <He did a great job on the whole.> <On the whole, new parents reported that they were adapting very well to parenthood.>

Word by Word Definitions

  1. :  free of wound or injury :  unhurt

    :  recovered from a wound or injury :  restored

    :  being healed

  1. :  a complete amount or sum :  a number, aggregate, or totality lacking no part, member, or element

    :  something constituting a complex unity :  a coherent system or organization of parts fitting or working together as one

  1. :  wholly, entirely

    :  as a complete entity

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up on the whole? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


mysterious, holy, or spiritual

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