holism

noun

ho·​lism ˈhō-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce holism (audio)
1
: a theory that the universe and especially living nature is correctly seen in terms of interacting wholes (as of living organisms) that are more than the mere sum of elementary particles
2
: a study or method of treatment that is concerned with wholes or with complete systems : a holistic study or method of treatment
holist noun

Examples of holism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Image Image On another bright morning last summer, Bolger took Benjamina to Concord’s North Bridge, for a holistic lesson but also a lesson in holism. Joseph Bernstein Robert Petkoff Krish Seenivasan Devin Murphy, New York Times, 3 June 2024 Instagram Holistic is the adjective form of holism, which the dictionary reminds us is a study or method of treatment that’s concerned with wholes and complete systems, more than the mere sum of elementary particles. Ben Court, Men's Health, 22 Dec. 2022 No creature better exemplifies the holism of nature than freshwater eels. David Doubilet, National Geographic, 12 June 2019 If man comforts himself in realizable ideals, he will be drawn from individualism into a passive, Eastern holism. Sahil Handa, National Review, 4 June 2019 There's loads of omm-ing at this legendary house of holism. Dana Wood, Town & Country, 13 Mar. 2015 The cover of the first issue was an image of the earth — another sphere — taken from space, exemplifying its spirit of holism. Nikil Saval, New York Times, 28 Mar. 2016

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'holism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Greek hólos "whole, complete" + -ism — more at holo-

Note: Word coined by the statesman and philosopher Jan smuts in the book Holism and Evolution (1926).

First Known Use

1926, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of holism was in 1926

Dictionary Entries Near holism

Cite this Entry

“Holism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/holism. Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition

holism

noun
ho·​lism ˈhō-ˌliz-əm How to pronounce holism (audio)
1
: a theory that the universe and especially living nature is correctly seen in terms of interacting wholes (as of living organisms) that are more than the mere sum of elementary particles
2
: a holistic study or method of treatment

More from Merriam-Webster on holism

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