1

whole

adjective \ ˈhōl \

Definition of whole

1 a (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
3 a :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
4 a :constituting an undivided unit :unbroken, uncut
  • a whole roast suckling pig
b :directed to one end :concentrated
  • your whole attention
5 a :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

wholeness

noun

Examples of whole in a Sentence

  1. The doctor assured me that the whole procedure would only take a few minutes.

  2. The whole place was remodeled. It looks great now.

  3. It's been a whole week since I've seen him.

  4. I spent the whole summer traveling through Europe.

  5. The whole evening was a great success.

  6. She read the whole book in one day.

  7. I've been waiting my whole life for this.

  8. We decided to forget the whole thing.

  9. We cooked a whole chicken.

  10. The community center offers a whole range of programs.

Recent Examples of whole from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of whole

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

Synonym Discussion of whole

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

2

whole

noun

Definition of whole

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

Examples of whole in a Sentence

  1. the landlord eventually refunded the whole of our deposit

Recent Examples of whole from the Web

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.

First Known Use of whole

14th century

whole Synonyms

Synonyms
aggregate, full, sum, summation, sum total, total, totality, grand total, the whole bit, the whole kit and caboodle, the whole nine yards, the whole shebang
Related Words
gross; completeness, comprehensiveness, cumulativeness, entirety; bulk, lion's share, mass; enchilada, schmear
Near Antonyms
net

3

whole

adverb

Definition of whole

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

Examples of whole in a Sentence

  1. We cooked the chicken whole.

  2. The frog swallowed the fly whole.

Recent Examples of whole from the Web

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.

First Known Use of whole

14th century


WHOLE Defined for English Language Learners

whole

adjective

Definition of whole for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of whole for English Language Learners

  • : something that is full or complete


whole

adverb

Definition of whole for English Language Learners

  • : entirely or completely

  • : in one piece that has not been cut into parts


WHOLE Defined for Kids

1

whole

adjective \ ˈhōl \

Definition of whole for Students

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.

wholeness

noun

2

whole

noun

Definition of whole for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

whole

adjective \ ˈhōl \

medical Definition of whole

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


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to suppress quietly or indirectly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one-green-toy-robot-amidst-many-red-toy-robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!