whole

adjective
\ ˈhōl How to pronounce whole (audio) \

Definition of whole

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a(1) : free of wound or injury : unhurt
(2) : recovered from a wound or injury : restored
(3) : being healed whole of an ancient evil, I sleep sound— A. E. Housman
b : free of defect or impairment : intact
c : physically sound and healthy : free of disease or deformity
d : mentally or emotionally sound
2 : having all its proper parts or components : complete, unmodified whole milk a whole egg
3a : constituting the total sum or undiminished entirety : entire owns the whole island
b : each or all of the took part in the whole series of athletic events
4a : constituting an undivided unit : unbroken, uncut a whole roast suckling pig
b : directed to one end : concentrated your whole attention
5a : seemingly complete or total the whole idea is to help, not hinder
b : very great in quantity, extent, or scope feels a whole lot better now
6 : constituting the entirety of a person's nature or development educate the whole student
7 : having the same father and mother whole brother

whole

noun

Definition of whole (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a complete amount or sum : a number, aggregate, or totality lacking no part, member, or element
2 : something constituting a complex unity : a coherent system or organization of parts fitting or working together as one
in whole
: to the full or entire extent : wholly usually used in the phrase in whole or in part
on the whole
1 : in view of all the circumstances or conditions : all things considered
2 : in general : in most instances : typically

whole

adverb

Definition of whole (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : wholly, entirely a whole new age group— Henry Chauncey
2 : as a complete entity

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from whole

Adjective

wholeness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for whole

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for whole

Adjective

perfect, whole, entire, intact mean not lacking or faulty in any particular. perfect implies the soundness and the excellence of every part, element, or quality of a thing frequently as an unattainable or theoretical state. a perfect set of teeth whole suggests a completeness or perfection that can be sought, gained, or regained. felt like a whole person again after vacation entire implies perfection deriving from integrity, soundness, or completeness of a thing. the entire Beethoven corpus intact implies retention of perfection of a thing in its natural or original state. the boat survived the storm intact

Examples of whole in a Sentence

Adjective The doctor assured me that the whole procedure would only take a few minutes. The whole place was remodeled. It looks great now. It's been a whole week since I've seen him. I spent the whole summer traveling through Europe. The whole evening was a great success. She read the whole book in one day. I've been waiting my whole life for this. We decided to forget the whole thing. We cooked a whole chicken. The community center offers a whole range of programs. Noun the landlord eventually refunded the whole of our deposit Adverb We cooked the chicken whole. The frog swallowed the fly whole.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Less devoted seafood fans should try the khao tom pla ($16), a popular Thai street dish reminiscent of an unfinished congee, with silky slips of black cod and whole grains of soft jasmine rice floating in an intense and comforting ginger broth. Michael Russell, oregonlive, "One of Portland’s most exclusive restaurants now serves delicious noodle soups: Takeout diaries," 13 Jan. 2021 The healthy foods that contain them – mainly fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes – should be encouraged not avoided. Jill Joyce, The Conversation, "Anti-nutrients – they’re part of a normal diet and not as scary as they sound," 12 Jan. 2021 Jon Ossoff's and Raphael Warnock's victories in Georgia have opened up a whole new world of pandemic response. Melody Schreiber, The New Republic, "How a Democratic Senate Can Ease the Coronavirus Crisis," 12 Jan. 2021 The researchers discovered that eating more saturated fat and less fiber from foods like vegetables, fruits and whole grains led to reductions in slow-wave sleep, which is the deep, restorative kind. Star Tribune, "How foods may affect our sleep," 8 Jan. 2021 Eat lots of fruits, veggies, lean protein, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. Popular Science, "In 2021, as ever, the best diets are simple," 6 Jan. 2021 Get started by cooking one meal each week based on beans, whole grains and vegetables, using herbs and spices to add punch. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Mediterranean diet named best diet for 2021," 5 Jan. 2021 And this time, the whole world seemed to be listening. Peter Van Sant, CBS News, "Tara Grinstead murder: Did authorities miss leads that could have potentially solved the case over a decade ago?," 2 Jan. 2021 When the next pandemic strikes, the whole world needs to implement best practices to save lives and protect livelihoods. Tom Frieden, WSJ, "Which Countries Have Responded Best to Covid-19?," 1 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Schools are always going to be a risk, but one that can be managed—and not being in school is also really bad for kids, for their parents, and for society as a whole. Megan Molteni, Wired, "Everything We Know Now About Schools, Kids, and Covid-19," 15 Jan. 2021 For more than a century, Black people have argued that white-mob lawlessness is a threat to their communities, most specifically, but also to members of a democratic society as a whole. Victor Luckerson, The New Yorker, "Living in the Age of the White Mob," 15 Jan. 2021 The Saints as a whole are tied for No. 1 in the league in interceptions, tallying 18 picked passes on the year. Amie Just | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "The Edge: How does 3rd game between Saints, Bucs shape up for matchups?," 15 Jan. 2021 The United States as a whole had its fifth warmest year. Kurtis Alexander, SFChronicle.com, "2020 rivals 2016 for hottest year on record — we got fires and other disasters in return," 14 Jan. 2021 Bridger said health officials haven’t identified outbreaks in specific nursing homes and assisted living facilities — instead, cases and deaths have risen in general, mirroring the community as a whole. Marina Starleaf Riker, ExpressNews.com, "Health officials: 18,000 San Antonians might be infected with COVID-19 right now," 14 Jan. 2021 The weapons systems displayed as a whole were less impressive than those trotted out in October, when North Korea celebrated the 75th anniversary of the foundation of the Workers' Party of Korea, the Communist organ that rules the country. Joshua Berlinger, CNN, "North Korea unveils submarine-launched ballistic missile at military parade," 14 Jan. 2021 Both are capable of not only defending the ship, but a larger, multi-ship task force as a whole, such as a carrier strike group or amphibious expeditionary strike group. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Navy Hopes Its New Frigates Will Snap a Mediocre Ship Streak," 14 Jan. 2021 The release boasts that the building will have numerous amenities as well as the views residents will have of the West Side Market and the city as a whole. Eric Heisig, cleveland, "Construction begins on five-story, 240-unit apartment building near Cleveland’s West Side Market," 13 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Optional add-ons include a turkey breast special ($100 for two) and apple pie, whole ($49) or by the slice ($12). Jenn Harris Senior Food Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Where to order takeout and delivery holiday dinners," 16 Dec. 2020 Enfield’s planning and zoning commission recently approved Padilla’s application to open a plant in a long-vacant warehouse, where garlic will be packaged whole or peeled and processed. Jesse Leavenworth, courant.com, "Garlic processing plant approved in Enfield," 4 Dec. 2020 Conservation groups are applauding the decision whole heartedly. Alex Robinson/outdoor Life, Popular Science, "North America’s biggest salmon run may no longer be in danger," 30 Nov. 2020 The obvious exit for Discord’s founders would be a sale to an existing tech giant, which could swallow it whole like WhatsApp, Instagram, YouTube, and Skype before it. Oliver Staley, Quartz, "Messaging app Discord is the new social life for house-bound teenagers," 25 Nov. 2020 Warinner indicated his status remains unclear, which means the offensive line still isn’t whole yet. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Two Michigan football OL starters, Jalen Mayfield, Ryan Hayes, could return vs. Penn State," 25 Nov. 2020 Like many owls, barn owls swallow prey whole, then regurgitate tough material like fur and bone into what’s called an owl pellet. National Geographic, "Barn owl," 31 Oct. 2020 Once the company is able to bring the first stage back whole, the final step will be catching the vehicle mid-air, using a helicopter—this will avoid water damage to the vehicle from the ocean. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Lab is about to attempt a first-stage recovery," 5 Nov. 2020 Some believe the election has the potential to erode the nation further, or begin to make the country whole again. Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY, "The majority of Americans are stressed about the election. Here's how to cope.," 28 Oct. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of whole

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adverb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for whole

Adjective

Middle English hool healthy, unhurt, entire, from Old English hāl; akin to Old High German heil healthy, unhurt, Old Norse heill, Old Church Slavonic cělŭ

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about whole

Time Traveler for whole

Time Traveler

The first known use of whole was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for whole

Last Updated

19 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Whole.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whole. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for whole

whole

adjective
How to pronounce whole (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of whole

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: complete or full : not lacking or leaving out any part
: having all the parts : not divided or cut into parts or pieces
: great or large in size, extent, etc.

whole

noun

English Language Learners Definition of whole (Entry 2 of 3)

: something that is full or complete

whole

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of whole (Entry 3 of 3)

: entirely or completely
: in one piece that has not been cut into parts

whole

adjective
\ ˈhōl How to pronounce whole (audio) \

Kids Definition of whole

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : made up of all its parts : total, entire the whole family
2 : all the the whole week
3 : not cut up or ground a whole onion
4 : not scattered or divided I gave it my whole attention.
5 : having all its proper parts : complete whole milk
6 : completely healthy or sound in condition Your care made me whole again.

Other Words from whole

wholeness noun

whole

noun

Kids Definition of whole (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something that is full or complete The whole of my day was spent working.
2 : a sum of all the parts and elements the whole of creation
on the whole
1 : all things considered
2 : in most cases

whole

adjective
\ ˈhōl How to pronounce whole (audio) \

Medical Definition of whole

: containing all its natural constituents, components, or elements : deprived of nothing by refining, processing, or separation whole milk

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on whole

What made you want to look up whole? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!