holistic

adjective
ho·​lis·​tic | \ hō-ˈli-stik How to pronounce holistic (audio) \

Definition of holistic

1 : of or relating to holism
2 : relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts holistic medicine attempts to treat both the mind and the body holistic ecology views humans and the environment as a single system

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Other Words from holistic

holistically \ hō-​ˈli-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce holistically (audio) \ adverb

Look at the Big Picture With Holistic

"The whole is greater than the sum of its parts" expresses the essence of holism, a term coined by the great South African general and statesman Jan Smuts in 1926. Holism generally opposes the Western tendency toward analysis, the breaking down of wholes into parts sometimes to the point that "you can't see the forest for the trees". Holism is an important concept in the sciences and social sciences, and especially in medicine. Holistic medicine tries to treat the "whole person" rather than focusing too narrowly on single symptoms. It emphasizes the connections between the mind and the body, avoids the overuse of drugs, and has borrowed such practices from Eastern traditions as acupuncture and yoga.

Examples of holistic in a Sentence

In a world of specialization, we have been trained to think of medicine as a separate world—when we are sick, we go to doctors and follow their advice. This is starting to change, with the increasing popularity of alternative and holistic approaches to overall health and well-being. — Gareth Cook, Boston Globe, 9 June 2002 The Gaia hypothesis is certainly top-down and holistic, and it's now generally accepted … Organisms have not just adapted to different physical environments; they also modify and improve the environment for their own good—just like people. — Tom Ghaffin, Natural History, October 1998 People with supermarket carts. When did these things come out of the stores and into the streets. She saw these things everywhere … filled with living trivia, the holistic dregs of everything if that is correctly put. — Don DeLillo, Mao II, 1991 Holistic medicine attempts to treat both the mind and the body. We need to take a more holistic approach to improving our schools.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The modern research adopts Humboldt's holistic approach, repurposed for an era of climate change, says ecologist Priscilla Muriel of the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador in Quito. Tim Appenzeller, Science | AAAS, "Global warming has made iconic Andean peak unrecognizable," 11 Sep. 2019 But moving forward without a holistic examination of your finances could result in serious missteps. courant.com, "Smart Moves: Homebuying tips for retirees," 3 Sep. 2019 What the union effort also shows is that health care is a holistic issue. Lena Solow, The New Republic, "The Scourge of Worker Wellness Programs," 2 Sep. 2019 Gandurski said Chicago has also worked collaboratively with other city agencies and departments to provide somewhat of a holistic set of resources to residents who might be facing hardships in other areas. Kat Stafford, Detroit Free Press, "Chained and neglected: Detroit's dog problem persists despite child deaths," 28 Aug. 2019 This year Gardner decided to take Black Women About Business on a three-city tour in Michigan and bring a group of multigenerational women together that could speak to experiences connected to Black women and address them in a holistic way. Brittney Oliver, Essence, "This Founder Is Showing Black Women Why Wellness Is Good For Business," 28 Aug. 2019 Asia has long been a hot spot of holistic therapies, but herbs, sound healing, reflexology, aromatherapy oils, and qigong are all tipping into the mainstream. Daisy Finer, Condé Nast Traveler, "Biomarkers, Sweat Lodges, and Shamans: Today's Wellness Retreats Go Far Beyond a Detox," 26 Aug. 2019 People talk about therapy and holistic betterment or the HeadSpace app in everyday conversation. Ben Terris, Washington Post, "In the Kale Smoothie Era of Democratic politics, 2020 candidates race to embody self-care," 25 Aug. 2019 Through the UndocuHealth program, Garcia Mendoza teaches other undocumented immigrants about holistic health practices like yoga and meditative breathing. Olivia Sanchez, USA TODAY, "Endless fear: Undocumented immigrants grapple with anxiety, depression under Trump," 25 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'holistic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of holistic

1926, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for holistic

hol(ism) + -istic

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Dictionary Entries near holistic

holis

holishkes

holism

holistic

holk

holl

holland

Statistics for holistic

Last Updated

21 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for holistic

The first known use of holistic was in 1926

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More Definitions for holistic

holistic

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of holistic

: relating to or concerned with complete systems rather than with individual parts

holistic

adjective
ho·​lis·​tic | \ hō-ˈlis-tik How to pronounce holistic (audio) \

Medical Definition of holistic

1 : of or relating to holism
2 : relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts holistic medicine attempts to treat both the mind and the body

Other Words from holistic

holistically \ -​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce holistically (audio) \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on holistic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with holistic

Spanish Central: Translation of holistic

Nglish: Translation of holistic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of holistic for Arabic Speakers

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