whole·​some | \ ˈhōl-səm How to pronounce wholesome (audio) \

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 food is simple and wholesome, comprising roti (wholewheat flat bread), dal (lentils), vegetables and kheer (milk and rice pudding). Rakesh Kumar, CNN, 28 Sep. 2021 But the defense has tried to show it all as innocuous, or even wholesome. Jason Meisner, chicagotribune.com, 17 Sep. 2021 As far as online communities go, this one is unusually wholesome. Elena Kadvany, San Francisco Chronicle, 16 Sep. 2021 Be reliable and make sure your efforts are wholesome and mutually acceptable to solidify relationships. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, 6 Sep. 2021 Now the reality series is back for another season of show-stopping bakes and wholesome competition among its cast of home bakers. Quinci Legardye, Marie Claire, 23 Sep. 2021 Molly's Easy Cheesy Garden Hotdish uses simple, clean ingredients to help create a wholesome, nutritious meal for the entire family. Benjamin Vanhoose, PEOPLE.com, 17 Sep. 2021 Like the placard in the photo of Laub’s mother, the mask, a proxy for the President, feels out of place in this otherwise wholesome scene. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, 14 Sep. 2021 She recently got invited to the coveted event and took her wholesome reaction to Instagram. Samantha Olson, Seventeen, 13 Sep. 2021

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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Time Traveler for wholesome

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

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Dictionary Entries Near wholesome

whole snipe



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Last Updated

10 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wholesome.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wholesome. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce wholesome (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on wholesome

Nglish: Translation of wholesome for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wholesome for Arabic Speakers


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