holistic

adjective
ho·​lis·​tic | \ hō-ˈli-stik \

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 \ 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

There’s no substitute for taking a holistic view of the energy system, balancing its various needs against the various technologies capable of meeting them. David Roberts, Vox, "California will require solar panels on all new homes. That’s not necessarily a good thing.," 15 May 2018 As Locksley taken a more holistic view of the offense while hopscotching from one meeting to the other, Enos has set up shop in the room that is home to the most important players on the field. Rainer Sabin, AL.com, "Why Alabama's QB development is set to kick into high gear," 25 Apr. 2018 State officials said the new approach to identifying schools aims to be more holistic. Leslie Brody, WSJ, "State Places 84 New York City Schools on Low-Performing List," 17 Jan. 2019 Jacobsen had been tasked with designing Copenhagen’s Royal Hotel—both the building and everything in it—and this innovative and sculptural chair design was part of that holistic work, intended for the hotel lobby. Maggie Burch, House Beautiful, "This Is What The Original Egg Chair Looks Like," 16 Jan. 2019 Connecticut isn’t the first state to offer unique classes or non-traditional rehabilitation courses to those who’ve been sentenced to time in prison, but the new units are more holistic in their approach. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "Inside a Radical Experiment to Transform the Lives of Incarcerated Women," 22 Aug. 2018 Where: Blissed Yoga Retreats, Siem Reap Cambodia What: Manifest personal health and happiness through daily holistic yoga, taught by two of Los Angeles’s most accomplished and influential teachers, Travis Eliot and Lauren Eckstrom. Micaela English, Town & Country, "8 Wellness Retreats To Reset Your Body And Mind," 17 Dec. 2018 In time, though, restructuring work at WPP and Publicis may put them in a better position to pitch a new, more holistic approach to creative work -- one anchored in data and digital technology. Stephen Wilmot, WSJ, "Madison Avenue Needs to Watch Its Back," 13 Nov. 2018 From Dollar Shave Club to Billie to Flamingo (which launches today), these millennial-minded brands are taking a more holistic, inclusive approach to both body hair and self-care. Deanna Pai, Glamour, "Millennial Razor Brands Are on a Mission to Embrace Body Hair," 16 Oct. 2018

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

9 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 \

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 \ 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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