to·​tal·​i·​ty | \ tō-ˈta-lə-tē How to pronounce totality (audio) \
plural totalities

Definition of totality

1 : an aggregate amount : sum, whole
2a : the quality or state of being total : wholeness
b : the phase of an eclipse during which it is total : state of total eclipse

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Examples of totality in a Sentence

the totality of human knowledge the totality of the stars in the universe can only be loosely guessed at

Recent Examples on the Web

Along a 125-mile stretch from La Serena, Chile to Buenos Aires, Argentina, scientists and tourists—including Bill Clinton, Bill Gates and Brian May of the band Queen—arrived to observe a little more than two minutes of totality. Michael Waters, Smithsonian, "Photos Capture the Great South American Eclipse," 2 July 2019 Watch Worldwide Armchair astronomers around the globe can view live webcasts of the eclipse via multiple feeds beamed from the path of totality. Andrew Fazekas, National Geographic, "How to watch South America’s total eclipse from anywhere," 2 July 2019 Here’s the path of totality — the region where the moon’s shadow totally blocks out the sun — that today’s eclipse will take: Ernie Wright/NASA What might make this eclipse particularly beautiful is its timing near sunset hours. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Tuesday’s total solar eclipse: how to watch," 2 July 2019 That period of totality has traditionally been the only time when the sun becomes dim enough for its atmosphere to be observed directly. Eric Adams, WIRED, "The Blazing Science of This Year's Total Solar Eclipse," 1 July 2019 Only a narrow zone in Chile and Argentina will witness totality before sunset – weather permitting. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "A 6,000-mile path will experience a total solar eclipse next week. The display won’t be easy to see.," 26 June 2019 The totality of the staff coach David Shaw has compiled made its mark on Jones as well. Shotgun Spratling,, "Narbonne cornerback Brandon Jones is already thinking big about his future at Stanford," 14 June 2019 The totality of the VW pollution-standards fakery resulted in years of additional pollution, which deprived all primates (including you, pal) of fresh air and sunshine. Steve Mirsky, Scientific American, "Silliness and Scams Seem to Always Hitch a Ride with Human Activity," 1 Apr. 2018 According to National Geographic, totality will begin at 11:41 p.m. EST on January 20th and is expected to last for 62 minutes. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "A Super Blood Wolf Moon Is Coming This Month," 4 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'totality.' 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 totality

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for totality

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for totality

The first known use of totality was in 1598

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English Language Learners Definition of totality

: the whole or entire amount of something

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Comments on totality

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


to form ideas or theories about something

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