to·​tal | \ ˈtō-tᵊl How to pronounce total (audio) \

Definition of total

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : comprising or constituting a whole : entire the total amount
2 : absolute, utter a total failure a total stranger
3 : involving a complete and unified effort especially to achieve a desired effect total war total theater



Definition of total (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : a product of addition : sum
2 : an entire quantity : amount


totaled or totalled; totaling or totalling

Definition of total (Entry 3 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to add up : compute
2 : to amount to : number
3 : to make a total wreck of : demolish specifically : to damage so badly that the cost of repairs exceeds the market value of the vehicle totaled the car



Definition of total (Entry 4 of 4)

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Choose the Right Synonym for total


whole, entire, total, all mean including everything or everyone without exception. whole implies that nothing has been omitted, ignored, abated, or taken away. read the whole book entire may suggest a state of completeness or perfection to which nothing can be added. the entire population was wiped out total implies that everything has been counted, weighed, measured, or considered. the total number of people present all may equal whole, entire, or total. all proceeds go to charity

Examples of total in a Sentence

Adjective a total lack of support a total eclipse of the sun He demanded total control of the project. What was the total amount of the bill? the total number of words The country has a total population of about 100 million. Noun a total of 25 square miles that's the total for our wheat harvest this year Verb He carefully totaled the bill. two and two total four
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Including these newest payments, this brings the total number of checks distributed thus far to 163 million stimulus payments, with an approximate value of $384 billion. Andy Meek, BGR, "The IRS just made a major announcement about stimulus checks," 29 Apr. 2021 The total number of homeless people declined from 6,380 to 5,111, the agency said, as the number of homeless families fell from 768 to 405. Washington Post, "More than a year into the pandemic, mixed signals on homelessness in D.C.," 29 Apr. 2021 However, the total number of initial doses administered dropped more than 75% from April 14 to Monday. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, "Gov. Whitmer unveils plan to tie Michigan vaccination rates to easing COVID-19 rules," 29 Apr. 2021 Year-over-year increases in total deaths in Arizona typically have ranged between 1% and 4% in recent years, and population growth in has ranged between 1.6% and 2%. Stephanie Innes, The Arizona Republic, "Updated state numbers show Arizona deaths were up by 76% in January over previous year," 28 Apr. 2021 The Bloomberg Resilience Score ranks countries on their fatality rate and cases per 100,000 over the past month, their total deaths per 1 million, their test positive rate and the level of vaccination. CNN, "The latest on the coronavirus pandemic and vaccines," 28 Apr. 2021 With the 106,173 coronavirus vaccine doses administered Tuesday, the total number of vaccinations surpassed 9 million, public health officials reported Wednesday. Dan Petrella,, "Pritzker says anyone wanting a shot just has to ‘raise your hand’ as daily COVID-19 vaccinations average continues to slip," 28 Apr. 2021 In the one-page draft letter addressed to the State Assembly speaker, Dr. Zucker shared the total number of deaths, which at that point was 9,835 through Oct. 30. New York Times, "Cuomo Aides Spent Months Hiding Nursing Home Death Toll," 28 Apr. 2021 Over the years, thousands of people would succumb to radiation contamination from the explosion, with the number of total deaths unknown since many people died years and decades after the fact. Jennifer Nalewicki, Smithsonian Magazine, "Thirty-Five Years Later, a First Responder at the Chernobyl Disaster Looks Back," 27 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That total is the highest since the winter holidays ended. Tim Gruver, Washington Examiner, "Oregon Republicans renew battle over bill readings to curtail COVID shutdowns," 30 Apr. 2021 Arizona's death total of 17,324 deaths represents about 3% of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. Alison Steinbach, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona reports 844 new COVID-19 cases and 19 new known deaths as trends for illness remain mostly steady," 30 Apr. 2021 Experts believe the 2020 total is probably higher, but has been reported lower because of other media interests such as COVID-19, according to the Lightning Safety Council. Joe Mario Pedersen,, "Shocking! Florida dethroned as US lightning capital; Central Florida counties still No. 1, study says," 30 Apr. 2021 This year’s total is nearly double the average for the same time period every year since 2014. NBC News, "Five dead, including two deputies and suspected shooter, in North Carolina standoff," 29 Apr. 2021 The state’s case total is now 2,879,712, including 2,467,456 confirmed and 412,256 probable. Nataly Keomoungkhoun, Dallas News, "Dallas County adds 6 new coronavirus deaths, 268 cases; Tarrant reports 6 fatalities," 29 Apr. 2021 The 2020 total of $6.93 billion is the fifth highest on record. Ken Roberts, Forbes, "In 2020, Italy Ranked First For U.S. Wine Imports, 53rd For Exports Behind Togo, Latvia ...," 28 Apr. 2021 The overall total for COVID-19 is well below the high of 113, set in January. Bob Blubaugh,, "Number of COVID cases in Carroll County Public Schools decreases by 4%," 28 Apr. 2021 The total was up by 7.4 percent over the previous decade, slightly more than in the 1930s, when the population grew by just 7.3 percent. New York Times, "U.S. Population Over Last Decade Grew at Slowest Rate Since 1930s," 26 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The investment pools can total tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, but a typical size is about $200 million, and the sponsor looks for a private company to take public. Craig Harris, USA Today, "Shaq, Ciara and A-Rod have one. But are SPACs, the latest investment craze, right for you?," 30 Apr. 2021 Court costs and government fees associated with deportation cases can total more than $20,000. Tori Richards, Washington Examiner, "San Diego County proposes funding free lawyers for illegal immigrants," 30 Apr. 2021 The overall costs can total as much as $8,000 to $10,000, depending on travel, equipment and — if a family pays for it — expensive private training., "How COVID-19 may have made the economic divides in youth sports worse than before," 29 Apr. 2021 If approved by the council, the acreage preserved or pending settlement in state and local preservation programs would total 61,604 acres, which is 26.4% of Harford County’s land mass, according to the statement. James Whitlow,, "Harford executive sends legislation county council to put 25 farm properties into agricultural preservation," 29 Apr. 2021 With India in the throes of the worst rise in coronavirus infections in the world, and with the past week’s global case total the highest since the pandemic began, that contrast could become even more jarring. New York Times, "E.U. Set to Let Vaccinated U.S. Tourists Visit This Summer," 25 Apr. 2021 The new grant can total up to $10 million or up to 45% of their 2019 revenue per eligible business, whichever is less. Katie Lobosco, CNN, "Theater Covid relief program opens Monday after two-week delay," 24 Apr. 2021 The project will total more than $50 million, funded by a 2019 bond issue and the Ohio Construction Commission. Madeline Mitchell, The Enquirer, "EMBARGOED: Finneytown schools unveils name of its newest building opening in spring 2022," 11 Apr. 2021 Parking spaces would total 387, with 329 on the site — many of those under the buildings — and the rest on Main Street and Rankin Road Extension, according to the preliminary proposal. Jesse Leavenworth,, "Glastonbury town center development proposal gets mixed reviews," 3 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The fire struck as the world struggled with the biggest new weekly coronavirus case total yet, in a pandemic that has stretched well into its second year. New York Times, "Fire at Baghdad Hospital Packed With Covid Patients Kills at Least 82," 25 Apr. 2021 The fire struck as the world struggled with the biggest new weekly coronavirus case total yet, in a pandemic that has stretched well into its second year., "Fire at Baghdad hospital packed with COVID patients kills at least 82," 25 Apr. 2021 And the most games OSU could play total, even picking up a cross-divisional game on Dec. 19, would be six. Eric Hansen, The Indianapolis Star, "Notre Dame football remains No. 2 in playoff, schedule changes," 5 Apr. 2021 California expects to receive its first shipment of 327,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine shortly and about 2.16 million doses total by the end of the month, Newsom said last week. Dustin Gardiner,, "California teachers push to be near front of COVID vaccine line," 14 Dec. 2020 Everyone knowing at least a little about Giants franchise history knows 660 is Willie Mays’ home run total. John Shea,, "The case of Willie Mays’ missing HR: Will he get credit for Negro League blast?," 20 Dec. 2020 The Utah Board of Education has 15 seats total, but only about half are up for election every two years to stagger the terms. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Republicans win 8 of 9 open seats on Utah Board of Education," 4 Nov. 2020 Bassitt had allowed one home run total and completed at least six innings in his previous five starts, including Game 2 of the first round. Matt Kawahara,, "A’s Chris Bassitt laments pitch location in ‘rough’ Game 1 start," 5 Oct. 2020 Democrats need to net four seats total to retake the majority. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "Joni Ernst's Supreme Court flip-flop may provide opening for Democratic challenger in key Senate race," 1 Oct. 2020

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1557, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1716, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1601, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for total


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin totalis, from Latin totus whole, entire

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Time Traveler for total

Time Traveler

The first known use of total was in the 14th century

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Statistics for total

Last Updated

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Total.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for total



English Language Learners Definition of total

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: complete or absolute
: after everything or everyone is counted



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

: the number or amount of everything counted



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

: to produce (a total) when added together
: to add numbers together to find out the total
US : to damage (something, such as a car) so badly that it is not worth repairing


to·​tal | \ ˈtō-tᵊl How to pronounce total (audio) \

Kids Definition of total

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : being such to the fullest degree total ruin
2 : making up the whole I collected the total amount.
3 : of or relating to the whole of something a total eclipse of the sun
4 : making use of every means to do something total war

Other Words from total

totally adverb



Kids Definition of total (Entry 2 of 3)

: the entire number or amount counted : sum


totaled or totalled; totaling or totalling

Kids Definition of total (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : to add up Did you total the scores?
2 : to amount to : number Donations totaled five hundred dollars.

More from Merriam-Webster on total

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for total

Nglish: Translation of total for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of total for Arabic Speakers

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