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

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Other Words from whole

Adjective

wholeness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for whole

Synonyms: Adjective

all, concentrated, entire, exclusive, focused (also focussed), undivided

Synonyms: Noun

aggregate, full, sum, summation, sum total, total, totality

Antonyms: Adjective

diffuse, divided, scattered

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Five years after the oil price crashed, output remains depressed in much of the region, even as the industry as a whole faces unprecedented disruption. The Economist, "Latin America’s state-run oil giants are struggling," 12 July 2019 The photographs, posted on Facebook by Australian nonprofit GG Wildlife Rescue Inc., show the snake wrapping its body around the hapless croc, opening its elastic jaws and swallowing its prey whole. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "See a Python Swallow a Crocodile Whole," 12 July 2019 Also hot, politically fraught and smoky: this whole dang state. Julia O'malley, Anchorage Daily News, "How Alaska eats: Take a chill pill with ice cube soup, and other curious, cool recipes," 12 July 2019 Thank you for this one, Andrew E. Kramer: The site, a lake in Siberia, has become such a draw this summer for people posting on Instagram that whole social media pages are dedicated to its charms. Casey Newton, The Verge, "The White House social media summit was full of hypocrisy — and comedy," 12 July 2019 This week, fans of Critical Role have a whole new way to travel to Stilben, with the launch of Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins II, a new comic book miniseries based on the popular D&D web series. Graeme Mcmillan, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Critical Role': Inside the Comic Spinoff 'Vox Machina Origins II'," 8 July 2019 Destruction, not just of themselves and their communities, but of soil, water, forests, fish, and wildlife—a whole ecosystem, an entire riparian civilisation. Arundhati Roy, Quartz India, "Tribespeople in India’s Gujarat fiercely resisted a mega dam—but they got a mega statue, too," 8 July 2019 As a whole, the women's World Cup ratings were up 2% from the 2015 tournament and 11% from 2011's. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, "Fox Sports viewership for USWNT final against Netherlands up 22% over men's World Cup final last year," 7 July 2019 Congratulations to Jill Ellis and the whole squad for retaining the crown. Steven Ruiz, For The Win, "The sports world celebrates USWNT's dominant World Cup win," 7 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

On the whole, apart from a brief glimmer of promise late last year when Congress wrested three Hindi heartland states from the BJP, the Nehru-Gandhi scion has proved no match for Mr. Modi and his chief consigliere, BJP President Amit Shah. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "It’s Game Over for the Gandhis as a Political Dynasty Dies," 11 July 2019 On the whole, the current crop of justices tend to agree with each other, though some are more inclined to join the crowd than others. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "We charted the ideological lines along which each Supreme Court justice voted," 3 July 2019 Two big names: Canon vs. Nikon In the world of DSLR cameras, and photography as a whole, the two big names are Canon and Nikon. Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored, "Here's your guide to finding a DSLR camera that's right for you," 2 July 2019 Like Minnesota as a whole, St. Louis Park is whiter and less diverse than the United States overall, but the city proudly touts its religiously, ethnically and socioeconomically diverse neighborhoods. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "A Minnesota city voted to eliminate the Pledge of Allegiance. It didn’t go over well.," 28 June 2019 Yet, minorities still make up a sliver of Ohio’s population (21.3%) in comparison to the nation as a whole (39.6%). Rich Exner, cleveland.com, "As U.S. grows more diverse and older, so has Ohio since census 2010, new estimates show," 20 June 2019 Does what happens to Jean Grey in the Dark Phoenix comics tell us, well, anything about what Sophie Turner's screen version just went through (the whole, explosion-in-the-sky-in-the-shape-of-an-everlasting-phoenix-made-of-fire business)? Sydney Bucksbaum, refinery29.com, "Dark Phoenix," 8 June 2019 Suicide threats were the largest category for May and the school year as a whole, followed by tips about drugs and bullying. Meg Wingerter, The Denver Post, "Safe2Tell tips about Colorado schools nearly double," 6 June 2019 African Americans, as a whole (15 percent), were more likely to find a criminal record an obstacle to being hired than whites or Latinos (6 percent). Michael Tanner, National Review, "The Poor Want More Opportunity, Not More Entitlement Spending," 5 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

The specimen also reveals that, like some predatory birds today, Microraptor had a taste for swallowing lizards whole and head-first. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "Rare fossil in a fossil reveals a dinosaur's surprising last meal," 11 July 2019 As a result, save a rearguard that included goalkeeper Zack Steffen and defenders Matt Miazga and Omar Gonzalez, Berhalter’s team was a whole more fringe than core. Brian Straus, SI.com, "Fringe, Experimental USMNT Flops in Pre-Gold Cup Loss to Jamaica," 5 June 2019 Either way, structural relocation — generally done by towing buildings whole along roads or rails, or by disassembling and then reassembling them — presents massive engineering challenges. Jennifer Hattam, Discover Magazine, "How Engineers Move Massive Structures Without Breaking Them," 11 Mar. 2019 Wealthy families are building whole-house generators and installing batteries on their properties. Andrew Scurria And Arian Campo-flores, WSJ, "Puerto Rico Picks Bidders for Ailing Power Utility," 20 Jan. 2019 Economists generally say low barriers to trade and investment reduce consumer prices and allow capital to flow to the most productive companies and industries, making the economy as a whole more prosperous. Paul Kiernan, WSJ, "Global Monetary-Policy Official Decries U.S. Trade Measures," 25 Aug. 2018 Nvidia’s dueling GeForce Now services just got a whole less complicated—and a whole lot more appealing for Shield TV owners. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Nvidia Shield TV levels up to full-featured PC gaming with free GeForce Now beta," 11 July 2018 The squabs can be served whole or cut in half with kitchen shears; or, use a sharp knife to carve the meat away from the breast cage. Daniel Boulud, ELLE Decor, "Oven-Roasted Squab and Watercress Salad Recipe," 17 Aug. 2011 Fish, whether whole or cut, should be firm and shiny, but never soft, mushy, sticky or oily, signs of age. Nicole Sours Larson, sandiegouniontribune.com, "White fish & vegetables," 9 July 2018

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.

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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

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More Definitions for whole

whole

adjective

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on whole

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with whole

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for whole

Spanish Central: Translation of whole

Nglish: Translation of whole for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of whole for Arabic Speakers

Comments on whole

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