Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

whole

play
adjective \ˈhōl\

Simple Definition of whole

  • : complete or full : not lacking or leaving out any part

  • : having all the parts : not divided or cut into parts or pieces

  • : great or large in size, extent, etc.

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of whole

  1. 1 a (1) :  free of wound or injury :  unhurt (2) :  recovered from a wound or injury :  restored (3) :  being healed <whole of an ancient evil, I sleep sound — A. E. Housman> b :  free of defect or impairment :  intact c :  physically sound and healthy :  free of disease or deformity d :  mentally or emotionally sound

  2. 2 :  having all its proper parts or components :  complete, unmodified <whole milk> <a whole egg>

  3. 3 a :  constituting the total sum or undiminished entirety :  entire <owns the whole island> b :  each or all of the <took part in the whole series of athletic events>

  4. 4 a :  constituting an undivided unit :  unbroken, uncut <a whole roast suckling pig> b :  directed to one end :  concentrated <your whole attention>

  5. 5 a :  seemingly complete or total <the whole idea is to help, not hinder> b :  very great in quantity, extent, or scope <feels a whole lot better now>

  6. 6 :  constituting the entirety of a person's nature or development <educate the whole student>

  7. 7 :  having the same father and mother <whole brother>

wholeness

noun

Examples of whole in a sentence

  1. The doctor assured me that the whole procedure would only take a few minutes.

  2. The whole place was remodeled. It looks great now.

  3. It's been a whole week since I've seen him.

  4. I spent the whole summer traveling through Europe.

  5. The whole evening was a great success.

  6. She read the whole book in one day.

  7. I've been waiting my whole life for this.

  8. We decided to forget the whole thing.

  9. We cooked a whole chicken.

  10. The community center offers a whole range of programs.



Origin and Etymology of whole

Middle English hool healthy, unhurt, entire, from Old English hāl; akin to Old High German heil healthy, unhurt, Old Norse heill, Old Church Slavic cělŭ


First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of whole

whole, entire, total, all mean including everything or everyone without exception. whole implies that nothing has been omitted, ignored, abated, or taken away <read the whole book>. entire may suggest a state of completeness or perfection to which nothing can be added <the entire population was wiped out>. total implies that everything has been counted, weighed, measured, or considered <the total number of people present>. all may equal whole, entire, or total <all proceeds go to charity>.perfect, whole, entire, intact mean not lacking or faulty in any particular. perfect implies the soundness and the excellence of every part, element, or quality of a thing frequently as an unattainable or theoretical state <a perfect set of teeth>. whole suggests a completeness or perfection that can be sought, gained, or regained <felt like a whole person again after vacation>. entire implies perfection deriving from integrity, soundness, or completeness of a thing <the entire Beethoven corpus>. intact implies retention of perfection of a thing in its natural or original state <the boat survived the storm intact>.

2

whole

noun

Simple Definition of whole

  • : something that is full or complete

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of whole

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

  2. 2 :  something constituting a complex unity :  a coherent system or organization of parts fitting or working together as one

in whole

  1. :  to the full or entire extent :  wholly —usually used in the phrase in whole or in part

on the whole

  1. 1 :  in view of all the circumstances or conditions :  all things considered

  2. 2 :  in general :  in most instances :  typically

Examples of whole in a sentence

  1. <the landlord eventually refunded the whole of our deposit>



14th Century

First Known Use of whole

14th century


3

whole

adverb

Simple Definition of whole

  • : entirely or completely

  • : in one piece that has not been cut into parts

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of whole

  1. 1 :  wholly, entirely <a whole new age group — Henry Chauncey>

  2. 2 :  as a complete entity

Examples of whole in a sentence

  1. We cooked the chicken whole.

  2. The frog swallowed the fly whole.



14th Century

First Known Use of whole

14th century



WHOLE Defined for Kids

1

whole

play
adjective \ˈhōl\

Definition of whole for Students

  1. 1 :  made up of all its parts :  total, entire <the whole family>

  2. 2 :  all the <the whole week>

  3. 3 :  not cut up or ground <a whole onion>

  4. 4 :  not scattered or divided <I gave it my whole attention.>

  5. 5 :  having all its proper parts :  complete <whole milk>

  6. 6 :  completely healthy or sound in condition <Your care made me whole again.>

wholeness

noun



2

whole

play
noun

Definition of whole for Students

  1. 1 :  something that is full or complete <The whole of my day was spent working.>

  2. 2 :  a sum of all the parts and elements <the whole of creation>

on the whole

  1. 1 :  all things considered

  2. 2 :  in most cases




Medical Dictionary

whole

play
adjective \ˈhōl\

Medical Definition of whole

  1. :  containing all its natural constituents, components, or elements :  deprived of nothing by refining, processing, or separation <whole milk>




Learn More about whole


Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

of striking ability or excellence

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

two-chairs-on-a-pier-by-the-ocean-in-summer

Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?

vernal estival brumal hiemal
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ