Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adv. All together; entirely; without modification.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • All at a gulp; altogether; all at once: as, he swallowed it holus-bolus.
  • n. The whole; all, taken collectively: as, he drove out the holus-bolus of them.

Etymologies

Unknown. Possibly of Ancient Greek origin, from ὅλος ("whole") and βόλος ("a throw with a casting net"), or βῶλος ("lump"). May have been Latinized (i.e., -us ending as in masculine singular in Latin, as opposed to -os ending for masculine singular in Greek). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I don't buy the refutations of the "Engage" crowd holus-bolus, but I do believe that we need to take considerable care in our political uses of analogies.

    From Warsaw Ghetto to Gaza Ghetto

  • Tim Jones is right: as he points out, even if you discount the CRU findings holus-bolus, the same results have been replicated elsewhere.

    Protocols of the elders of climate science [updated]

  • The downstairs foyer was sheathed in multicolored marble and adorned with lush palms in handmade marble pots; a closer inspection revealed that the palms could be lifted out holus-bolus in smaller, plastic pots.

    TOO MANY MURDERS

  • For all the woolly sort of anti-Americanism afoot within the Canadian liberal-left, it is also true, and not the tiniest bit pathetic, that to formulate a position on the Afghanistan question the Canadian left has in the main simply adopted holus-bolus the American counterculture polemics on Iraq, and changed some names.

    Daimnation!: "Hats off to the Canadians"

  • There was a good deal of "enmeshing" there, too, as the majority Black population served as an endless supply of cheap labour for the white elite, and was too populous in any case to be banished holus-bolus to the bantustans.

    Archive 2008-05-01

  • Maybe the great Queen had moved herself holus-bolus into his heart because she at least could find merit in him; she at least thought him powerful and worth cultivating.

    Antony and Cleopatra

  • The whole point of any negotiations is gradually to split the Taliban apart if that can be done, not to accept the old gang back holus-bolus.

    A nattering nabob of negativism

  • Israel under Ariel Sharon has no intention of giving up its 1967 gains holus-bolus.

    Archive 2005-08-01

  • I went downstairs, and I took Mrs. Betteredge — affectionately, you understand — up in my arms, and carried her, holus-bolus, into the best parlour where she received her company.

    The Moonstone

  • With these words, she appeared to lose all command over herself; and, making a sudden snatch at the heap of silver, put it back, holus-bolus, in her pocket.

    The Moonstone

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Comments

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  • The Word of the Day notification includes this persuasive bit of speculation:

    This term may be a mock-latinization of 'whole bolus,' where 'bolus' is 'a round mass' of something, or of an assumed Greek 'whole lump.'

    June 20, 2014

  • The magician aims to control us.
    He first will charm and cajole us
    And then shift our focus
    By some hocus-pocus
    So we buy the trick holus-bolus.

    June 20, 2014

  • All together, unmodified, as in "to accept a story holus-bolus".

    November 26, 2007