whole·​some | \ˈhōl-səm \

Definition of wholesome 

1 : promoting health or well-being of mind or spirit

2 : promoting health of body

3a : sound in body, mind, or morals

b : having the simple health or vigor of normal domesticity

4a : based on well-grounded fear : prudent a wholesome respect for the law

b : safe it wouldn't be wholesome for you to go down there— Mark Twain

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Other Words from wholesome

wholesomely adverb
wholesomeness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for wholesome

healthful, wholesome, salubrious, salutary mean favorable to the health of mind or body. healthful implies a positive contribution to a healthy condition. a healthful diet wholesome applies to what benefits, builds up, or sustains physically, mentally, or spiritually. wholesome foods the movie is wholesome family entertainment salubrious applies chiefly to the helpful effects of climate or air. cool and salubrious weather salutary describes something corrective or beneficially effective, even though it may in itself be unpleasant. a salutary warning that resulted in increased production

healthy, sound, wholesome, robust, hale, well mean enjoying or indicative of good health. healthy implies full strength and vigor as well as freedom from signs of disease. a healthy family sound emphasizes the absence of disease, weakness, or malfunction. a sound heart wholesome implies appearance and behavior indicating soundness and balance. a face with a wholesome glow robust implies the opposite of all that is delicate or sickly. a lively, robust little boy hale applies particularly to robustness in old age. still hale at the age of eighty well implies merely freedom from disease or illness. she has never been a well person

Examples of wholesome in a Sentence

a wholesome dish made with vegetables less-than-wholesome entertainment that wasn't appropriate for children a young actor known for his wholesome good looks
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Recent Examples on the Web

The shadow shades have appropriately wholesome-sounding names: Let the Show Begin (gold shimmer), Hug Me: (matte light brown), Hooray (slate shimmer), Oh Boy! (matte mauve), M is for Mischief (matte brick red), and Ah Shucks! (matte eggplant). Marci Robin, Allure, "Dose of Colors' Brand-New Mickey Mouse Makeup Collection Is Already Selling Out," 13 Nov. 2018 No longer are women typecast as wholesome role models or cute sidekicks. Samantha Barry, Glamour, "Fall TV Is Finally Giving Me the Female Leads I've Always Wanted," 14 Sep. 2018 Here are a few things to look for in a wholesome food for your active dog. Shelby Deering, Country Living, "Ask a Country Vet: How Can I Keep My Sporting Dog Healthy and Happy?," 11 Sep. 2018 Check out the video above and instructions below to make these wholesome balls of goodness. Stephanie Eckelkamp, Good Housekeeping, "These DIY Pumpkin Oatmeal Dog Treats Are So Good You Might Just Eat Them Yourself," 3 Sep. 2018 As for the need to impart wholesome values, youngsters should not be the priority. The Economist, "If national service is so good, everyone should do it," 5 July 2018 No one is going to mistake her for a wholesome country girl, fresh off the farm. Bob Doerschuk, USA TODAY, "Kylie Minogue embraces Nashville's influence on 'authentic' new album," 10 Apr. 2018 The agreement would settle those issues but also adds language requested by the county to keep the museum wholesome for kids. Larry Barszewski, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Children's art museum can't have nude exhibits in new county deal," 12 June 2018 The former is a natural desire for self-preservation, and is always wholesome. Anthony Gottlieb, New York Times, "How We Got to Be So Self-Absorbed: The Long Story," 21 June 2018

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for wholesome

Last Updated

17 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wholesome

The first known use of wholesome was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for wholesome



English Language Learners Definition of wholesome

: helping to keep your body healthy : good for your health

: morally good

: suggesting good health or behavior


whole·​some | \ˈhōl-səm \

Kids Definition of wholesome

1 : helping to improve or keep the body in good condition wholesome food

2 : healthy for the mind or morals wholesome entertainment

Other Words from wholesome

wholesomeness noun

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