as a whole

[ad_1] adjective
  1. comprising the full quantity, amount, extent, number, etc., without diminution or exception; entire, full, or total: He ate the whole pie. They ran the whole distance.
  2. containing all the elements properly belonging; complete: We have a whole set of antique china.
  3. undivided; in one piece: to swallow a thing whole.
  4. Mathematics. integral, or not fractional.
  5. not broken, damaged, or impaired; intact: Thankfully, the vase arrived whole.
  6. uninjured or unharmed; sound: He was surprised to find himself whole after the crash.
  7. pertaining to all aspects of human nature, especially one’s physical, intellectual, and spiritual development: education for the whole person.


  1. the whole assemblage of parts or elements belonging to a thing; the entire quantity, account, extent, or number: He accepted some of the parts but rejected the whole.
  2. a thing complete in itself, or comprising all its parts or elements.
  3. an assemblage of parts associated or viewed together as one thing; a unitary system.
  1. as a whole, all things included or considered; altogether: As a whole, the relocation seems to have been beneficial.
  2. on/upon the whole,
    1. in view of all the circumstances; after consideration.
    2. disregarding exceptions; in general: On the whole, the neighborhood is improving.
  3. out of whole cloth, without foundation in fact; fictitious: a story made out of whole cloth.


  1. containing all the component parts necessary to form a total; completea whole apple
  2. constituting the full quantity, extent, etc
  3. uninjured or undamaged
  4. healthy
  5. having no fractional or decimal part; integrala whole number
  6. of, relating to, or designating a relationship established by descent from the same parents; fullwhole brothers
  7. out of whole cloth US and Canadian informal entirely without a factual basis


  1. in an undivided or unbroken pieceto swallow a plum whole


  1. all the parts, elements, etc, of a thing
  2. an assemblage of parts viewed together as a unit
  3. a thing complete in itself
  4. as a whole considered altogether; completely
  5. on the whole
    1. taking all things into consideration
    2. in general

“entire body or company; the full amount,” late 14c., from whole (adj.).


Old English hal “entire, unhurt, healthy,” from Proto-Germanic *khailaz “undamaged” (cf. Old Saxon hel, Old Norse heill, Old Frisian hal, Middle Dutch hiel, Dutch heel, Old High German, German heil “salvation, welfare”), from PIE *koilas (cf. Old Church Slavonic celu “whole, complete;” see health). The spelling with wh- developed early 15c. The sense in whole number is from early 14c. For phrase whole hog, see hog.


  1. Not wounded, injured, or impaired; sound or unhurt.
  2. Having been restored; healed.


  1. An entity or system made up of interrelated parts.

All parts or aspects considered, altogether, as in I like the play as a whole, though the second act seemed somewhat slow. [Early 1800s] Also see on the whole.

In addition to the idioms beginning with whole

  • whole ball of wax, the
  • whole hog
  • whole kit and caboodle, the
  • whole megillah
  • whole new ballgame, a
  • whole nine yards, the
  • whole shebang

also see:

  • as a whole
  • go whole hog
  • on the whole
  • out of whole cloth

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