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 Through a holistic approach, Toyota seeks to expand access to opportunities that improve people’s lives and help create a more inclusive society. Dallas News, "Toyota," 6 Sep. 2020 In terms of health gains, each InBloom supplement serves a different primary purpose, but there are innate skincare benefits in each one in accordance with Hudson's holistic wellness approach. Megan Decker, refinery29.com, "Kate Hudson Just Launched A Beauty Company — & It’s Very On Brand," 25 Aug. 2020 Lifestyle that the star has been using a holistic approach, focusing on both nutrition and exercise. Nicholas Rice, PEOPLE.com, "Rebel Wilson Hits the Beach in Wetsuit for 'First Ever' Surfing Session," 25 Aug. 2020 This holistic approach to a career in motorsport could be crucial when there are still glass ceilings for girls like Stevens to break through. Sarah Holt, CNN, "Ella Stevens: The 13-year-old aiming to become Ferrari's first female Formula 1 driver," 20 Aug. 2020 To appeal to your audience, take a more holistic approach by integrating visual, auditory, and kinesthetic cues. Duncan Wardle, Quartz at Work, "How can you be more innovative? Try the what-if method," 19 Aug. 2020 Less holistic solutions to the emissions from the fossil fuel industry include plugging leaks in oil and gas pipelines and wells. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "World Methane Emissions Hit New High," 20 July 2020 The plan was to take a more holistic design approach with these new toys than with craze products, but LEGO extended that comprehensiveness to the worldbuilding around the toys, too, a new strategy for the company. David Lumb, Popular Mechanics, "LEGO Almost Went Bankrupt. These Heroes Saved Our Bricks.," 21 June 2020 The state’s task force is currently creating a holistic picture of what’s happening in Arizona regarding violent acts committed against Indigenous women and girls, said Jermaine. Debra Utacia Krol, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona 'cold case' office will address Native murder and missing person cases," 14 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for holistic

Time Traveler

The first known use of holistic was in 1926

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Statistics for holistic

Last Updated

10 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Holistic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/holistic. Accessed 22 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for holistic


How to pronounce holistic (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of holistic

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


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

More from Merriam-Webster on holistic

Nglish: Translation of holistic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of holistic for Arabic Speakers

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