out of whole cloth

out of whole cloth


  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

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

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


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

From pure fabrication or fiction. This expression is often put as cut (or made) out of whole cloth, as in That story was cut out of whole cloth. In the 15th century this expression referred to something fabricated from cloth that ran the full length of the loom. However, by the 1800s it was common practice for tailors to deceive their customers and, instead of using whole cloth, actually make garments from pieced goods. Their advertising slogan, “cut out of whole cloth,” thus came to mean “made up, false.” 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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