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
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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.—Pat Saperstein, Variety, 16 Nov. 2023 Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt has gained a whole new group of sisters!—Charna Flam, Peoplemag, 16 Nov. 2023 Simply being in the assassins’ collective shoes provides a whole new appreciation for how tough their actions would be too.—WIRED, 16 Nov. 2023 There’s a whole scene where the film takes the time to explain BPMs to the audience!—Julianne Escobedo Shepherd, Pitchfork, 16 Nov. 2023 With an interior volume of just under 500 GT, the yacht offers plenty of space for the whole family.—Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 15 Nov. 2023 This simple step imbues the whole drink with the spice’s warmth.—Inés Anguiano, Bon Appétit, 15 Nov. 2023 This vehicle architecture is expected to underpin a whole new range of models, starting with what is believed to be a dedicated robotaxi van and a $25,000 car.—Bychristiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 15 Nov. 2023 Immerse the whole family in a topsy-turvy world with the Dr. Seuss Experience at Santa Monica Place.—Steven Vargas, Los Angeles Times, 15 Nov. 2023
Grass fields are more expensive to maintain that turf on the whole, and they must be well kept and of high-quality grass, which can struggle in colder parts of the country in the winter months, CBS reported.—Mary Whitfill Roeloffs, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 Ironically, though, the state is expected to see warmer-than-average conditions on the whole this winter, as weill the Pacific Northwest and northern New England.—Chris Morris, Fortune, 13 Nov. 2023 On the whole, the path of prices across American history is an upward march.—Jim Tankersley, New York Times, 7 Nov. 2023 Yet on the whole, society continues to sideline the environment, treating it as a niche interest rather than a life-or-death concern.—Jillian Steinhauer, Los Angeles Times, 7 Nov. 2023 On the whole, though, Lawmen: Bass Reeves doesn’t get nearly close enough to connecting with what’s so special about its title character.—Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 5 Nov. 2023 Once at an underwater food source, divers will hunt about until finding a suspect, snatch it up in their strong bill, and rise to the surface, where it’s swallowed whole to be crushed by the bird’s powerful gizzard.—M.d. Johnson, Field & Stream, 2 Nov. 2023 On the whole, Johnson’s approach to social safety net programs comes right out of the GOP library of lies about the programs’ finances and their effect on the federal budget.—Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 27 Oct. 2023 But on the whole, the continent cannot keep pace with its swelling population.—Declan Walsh, New York Times, 27 Oct. 2023
Slice your strawberries if desired (keep scrolling for more on freezing whole vs. sliced).—Katie Bourque, Good Housekeeping, 6 May 2023 Someone captured a deer eating a snake whole earlier this week.—Vulture, 15 June 2023 Add two Hungarian wax peppers whole – keeping their stems on.—Gabriele Regalbuto, Fox News, 6 July 2023 Between bites of banku –a delicious corn and cassava dough formed in single-serving balls – and whole-grilled, freshwater tilapia seasoned with a traditional blend of aromatic herbs and spices, Eshun shares the story of her upbringing in Ohio until her repatriation to Ghana in 2018.—Tenille Clarke, Essence, 9 Jan. 2023 Today's commitment by Norfolk Southern is an important next step in the company's commitment to make the citizens of Ohio and of East Palestine whole after the recent derailment, a commitment Ohio will continue to monitor closely.—Allison Pecorin, ABC News, 16 Mar. 2023 Several prominent investors issued bombastic predictions that if the federal government did not step in to make all Silicon Valley Bank depositors whole — both insured and uninsured — there would be more bank runs on Monday.—Ken Sweet and Stan Choe, Anchorage Daily News, 16 Mar. 2023 Compounding the worry: The prospects of arranging a quick sale to another bank in order to keep depositors whole dimmed through the weekend.—Jim Tankersley, New York Times, 14 Mar. 2023 But where Iris stands apart is in its protein: There's a whole-roasted quail that swims in a decadent sage and black-pepper butter sauce and finger-licking mastic-marinated lamb chops with black sesame.—Scott Bay, Condé Nast Traveler, 22 Nov. 2022 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'whole.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
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
First Known Use
before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)