Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of whole
Meaning of whole by Wiktionary Dictionary



    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 *kóhₐilus ( “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 .

    The spelling with wh-, introduced in the 15th century, was for disambiguation with hole .


    • ( RP ) IPA: /həʊl/, [hɒʊɫ], X-SAMPA: /h@Ul/, [hQU5]
    • ( US ) IPA: /hoʊl/, [hoʊɫ], X-SAMPA: /hoUl/, [hoU5]
    • Homophone: hole, uwole
    • Rhymes: -əʊl


    whole ( comparative more whole, superlative most whole )

    1. entire .
      I ate a whole fish .
    2. sound, uninjured, healthy .
      He is of whole mind, but the same cannot be said about his physical state .
    3. ( of food ) From which none of its constituents has been removed .
      whole wheat, whole milk

    Derived terms


    whole ( comparative more whole, superlative most whole )

    1. ( colloquial ) in entirety; entirely; wholly
      I ate a fish whole!


    whole ( plural: wholes )

    1. Something complete, without any parts missing .
    2. An entirety .


    Derived terms


Explanation of whole by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. to a complete degree or to the full or entire extent

    2. a whole new idea
    1. including all components without exception

    2. gave his whole attention
      a whole wardrobe for the tropics
      the whole hog
      a whole week
      the baby cried the whole trip home
      a whole loaf of bread
    3. ( of siblings ) having the same parents

    4. whole brothers and sisters
    5. acting together as a single undiversified whole

    6. exhibiting or restored to vigorous good health

    7. whole in mind and body
      a whole person again
    8. not injured

    1. an assemblage of parts that is regarded as a single entity

    2. how big is that part compared to the whole?
    3. all of something including all its component elements or parts

    4. Europe considered as a whole
      the whole of American literature