from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Containing all components; complete.
  • adjective Not divided or disjoined; in one unit.
  • adjective Constituting the full amount, extent, or duration.
  • adjective Not wounded, injured, or impaired; sound or unhurt.
  • adjective Having been restored; healed.
  • adjective Having the same parents.
  • noun A number, group, set, or thing lacking no part or element; a complete thing.
  • noun An entity or system made up of interrelated parts.
  • adverb Entirely; wholly.
  • idiom (as a whole) All parts or aspects considered; altogether.
  • idiom (on the whole) Considering everything.
  • idiom (on the whole) In most instances or cases; as a rule.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Wholly; entirely.
  • Hale; healthy; sound; strong; well.
  • Restored to a sound state; healed; made well.
  • Unimpaired; uninjured: unbroken; intact: as, the dish is still whole; to get off with a whole skin.
  • Entire; complete; without omission, reduction, diminution, etc.: as, a whole apple; the whole duty of man; to serve the Lord with one's whole heart; three whole days; the whole body.
  • All; every part, unit, or member required to make up the aggregate: as, the whole city turned out to receive him.
  • Without reserve; sincerely or entirely devoted.
  • Unified; in harmony or accord; one.
  • In mining. that part of a coal-seam in process of being worked in which the headings only have been driven, the rest remaining untouched, or before “working the broken” has begun.
  • Synonyms and Entire, Total, etc. See complete.
  • noun An entire thing; a thing complete in itself; the entire or total assemblage of parts; all of a thing without defect or exception.
  • noun A complete system; a regular combination of parts; an organic unity.
  • noun Synonyms Total, totality, entirety, amount, aggregate, gross, sum.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The entire thing; the entire assemblage of parts; totality; all of a thing, without defect or exception; a thing complete in itself.
  • noun A regular combination of parts; a system.
  • noun See under Committee.
  • noun considering all things; taking everything into account; in view of all the circumstances or conditions.
  • adjective Containing the total amount, number, etc.; comprising all the parts; free from deficiency; all; total; entire
  • adjective Complete; entire; not defective or imperfect; not broken or fractured; unimpaired; uninjured; integral
  • adjective Possessing, or being in a state of, heath and soundness; healthy; sound; well.
  • adjective (Law of Descent) See under Blood, n., 2.
  • adjective (Mus.) the note which represents a note of longest duration in common use; a semibreve.
  • adjective (Math.) a number which is not a fraction or mixed number; an integer.
  • adjective (Zoöl.), [Prov. Eng.] the common snipe, as distinguished from the smaller jacksnipe.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective entire.
  • adjective sound, uninjured, healthy.
  • adjective of food From which none of its constituents has been removed.
  • adverb colloquial in entirety; entirely; wholly
  • noun Something complete, without any parts missing.
  • noun An entirety.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective not injured
  • adjective exhibiting or restored to vigorous good health
  • adjective including all components without exception; being one unit or constituting the full amount or extent or duration; complete
  • adjective acting together as a single undiversified whole
  • adverb to a complete degree or to the full or entire extent (`whole' is often used informally for `wholly')
  • noun an assemblage of parts that is regarded as a single entity


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English hole, unharmed, from Old English hāl; see kailo- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English hool ("healthy, unhurt, whole"), from Old English hāl ("healthy, safe"), from Proto-Germanic *hailaz (“whole, safe, sound”) (compare Low German heel/heil, Dutch heel, German heil, Danish hel), from Proto-Indo-European *kóh₂ilus (“healthy, whole”), Welsh coel ("omen"), Breton kel ("omen, mention"), Old Prussian kails ("healthy"), Albanian gjallë ("alive, unhurt"), Old Church Slavonic  (cĕlŭ, "healthy, unhurt"), Ancient Greek  (koîlu, "good"). Related to hale, health, and heal.


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  • The error of the opposite argument, is in assuming one thing, which, being denied, the whole fails; that is, it assumes that the _whole_ labor of the United States would be profitably employed without manufactures.

    Cotton is King, and Pro-Slavery Arguments Comprising the Writings of Hammond, Harper, Christy, Stringfellow, Hodge, Bledsoe, and Cartrwright on This Important Subject E. N. [Editor] Elliott

  • The Law secured to them the _whole of every seventh year; _ Lev.xxv. 3-6; thus giving to those who were servants during the entire period between the jubilees, _eight whole years, _ including the jubilee year, of unbroken rest.

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus American Anti-Slavery Society

  • This principle is as follows: _government, as the representative of the will of the whole people, should in general, attempt the regulation, or control, of industrial matters only to benefit the people as a whole_.

    Monopolies and the People Charles Whiting Baker

  • Rule, it being but _two whole Notes_ from the next _half Note_ to it; the reason is this, the _Ninth_ is one _whole Note_ below the _Eighth_, therefore the 2 must be a _whole Note_ below the _Treble_, otherwise they would not be a true _Eighth_, therefore the _half Note_ is put between 2 and 3.

    Tintinnalogia, or, the Art of Ringing Wherein is laid down plain and easie Rules for Ringing all sorts of Plain Changes Richard Duckworth

  • The Law secured to them the _whole of every seventh year; _ Lev.xxv. 3-6; thus giving to those who were servants during the entire period between the jubilees, _eight whole years, _ including the jubilee year, of unbroken rest.

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Part 1 of 4 American Anti-Slavery Society

  • According to metaphysic, the perception of matter is not the whole given fact with which we have to deal in working out this problem -- (it is not the whole given fact; for, as we have said, our apprehension of, or participation in, the perception of matter -- this is the whole given fact); -- but the perception of matter is the _whole objective_ part of the given fact.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 62, No. 382, October 1847 Various

  • The great thing in this war is to see the whole thing in proportion -- the _whole_ thing.

    The Dark Forest Hugh Walpole 1912

  • I used to think about dancing-school, and birthday parties, and rigging up, and summer fashions, and how many diamonds I'd have when I was married, and all that, the whole of the time, Peace — the _whole_ of it; then I got mad when my dresses didn't fit, and I used to strike Therése and Kate, if you'll believe it — when I was real angry that was.

    Gypsy's Cousin Joy Elizabeth Stuart Phelps 1877

  • It was a "mean old night" to the whole house; and when I say the _whole_ house, I mean both halves of it.

    The Twin Cousins Sophie May 1869

  • But it was unoccupied that he might fill a higher seat prepared, waiting for, and needing, not the undying part but the everlasting whole; for we are not _whole_ till we drop our dust!

    Senatorial Character A Sermon in West Church, Boston, Sunday, 15th of March, After the Decease of Charles Sumner. 1856

  • Most people do not know that the English words whole and health come from the same Germanic root (roughly meaning “undamaged”) as holy.

    Why it’s so hard to fix maddening spelling systems The Economist 2021


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