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 Democrats are aghast that Republicans can look at the totality of testimony, the White House's refusal to produce witnesses and documents, and not conclude that Trump did something bad and is probably covering up something worse. CBS News, "The House Judiciary Committee voted to impeach President Trump. Here's what happens next.," 14 Dec. 2019 Since knowledge is contextual, the oral tradition must be recognized in order to represent the totality of truths that abound within the region. Lavinya Stennett, Quartz Africa, "West Africa’s oral histories tell us a more complete story than traditional post-colonial narratives," 16 Dec. 2019 But the sophomore defensive lineman absorbed the totality of the destruction administered by the Buckeyes one year ago. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "How Michigan football's defense got ready for chance at payback vs. Ohio State," 25 Nov. 2019 Some question the validity of the National Center for Education Statistics' sampling technique saying a sample can't represent the totality of the state (our science scores on our own state test aren't very high, either, by the way). al, "Alabama schools struggle compared to southeast states, test shows," 7 Nov. 2019 But now artificial intelligence researchers are rethinking the way their bots incorporate the totality of human knowledge. Quanta Magazine, "Why Artificial Intelligence Like AlphaZero Has Trouble With the Real World," 21 Feb. 2018 There isn’t a totality to the fanhood, there is a critical distance. Julia Gray, Washington Post, "At the first-ever SopranosCon, meet the fans who never stopped believin’," 7 Dec. 2019 Those are important too — but not the totality of the church., "On Halloween, Past and Present," 9 Nov. 2019 When the sun reached totality, those stars would be visible along the the sun’s glowing halo. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "100 Years Ago, Albert Einstein Became a Legend," 5 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for totality

Time Traveler

The first known use of totality was in 1598

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Statistics for totality

Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Totality.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 17 January 2020.

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More Definitions for totality


How to pronounce totality (audio)

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).


a plan in which a last survivor takes all

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