greater/better/more than the sum of its parts

idiom
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of greater/better/more than the sum of its parts

used to say that something is better or more effective as a team, combination, etc., than would be expected when looking at the different parts that form it
  • The team lacks standout players, but it has proved to be greater than the sum of its parts.

Word by Word Definitions

greater play
  1. : consisting of a central city together with adjacent areas that are naturally or administratively connected with it

better play
  1. : comparative of good

  2. : greater than half

  3. : improved in health or mental attitude

  1. : to make better (see 1better): such as

  2. : to make more tolerable or acceptable

  3. : to make more complete or perfect

  1. : comparative of well

  2. : in a more excellent manner

  3. : to greater advantage : preferably

  1. : something better (see 1better)

  2. : a superior especially in merit or rank

  3. : advantage, victory

  1. : had better (see 3better 1b)

more play
  1. : greater

  2. : additional, further

  1. : in addition

  2. : moreover

  3. : to a greater or higher degree

  1. : a greater quantity, number, or amount

  2. : something additional : an additional amount

  3. : persons of higher rank

  1. : additional persons or things or a greater amount

sum play
  1. : an indefinite or specified amount of money

  2. : the whole amount : aggregate

  3. : the utmost degree : summit

  1. : to calculate the sum of : total

  2. : summarize

  3. : to reach a sum : amount

  1. the basic monetary unit of Uzbekistan — see Money Table

part play parts
  1. : one of the often indefinite or unequal subdivisions into which something is or is regarded as divided and which together constitute the whole

  2. : an essential portion or integral element

  3. : one of several or many equal units of which something is composed or into which it is divisible : an amount equal to another amount

  1. : to separate from or take leave of someone

  2. : to take leave of one another

  3. : to become separated into parts

  1. : partly

  1. : partial


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