Definition of whole adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//həʊl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//hoʊl//
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  1. 1  [only before noun] full; complete He spent the whole day writing. We drank a whole bottle each. The whole country (= all the people in it) mourned her death. Let's forget the whole thing. She wasn't telling the whole truth.
  2. 2  [only before noun] used to emphasize how large or important something is We offer a whole variety of weekend breaks. I can't afford it—that's the whole point.
  3. 3  not broken or damaged synonym (all) in one piece Owls usually swallow their prey whole (= without chewing it). Grammar Pointhalf / whole / quarter Quarter, half and whole can all be nouns:Cut the apple into quarters. Two halves make a whole. Whole is also an adjective:I’ve been waiting here for a whole hour. Half is also a determiner:Half (of) the work is already finished. They spent half the time looking for a parking space. Her house is half a mile down the road. Note that you do not put a or the in front of half when it is used in this way:I waited for half an hour I waited for a half an hour. Half can also be used as an adverb:This meal is only half cooked.
  4. Word OriginOld English hāl, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch heel and German heil, also to the verb hail (senses 1-3). The spelling with wh- (reflecting a dialect pronunciation with w-) first appeared in the 15th cent.Extra examples I can’t afford it—that’s the whole point. Let’s forget the whole thing. She wasn’t telling the whole truth. The whole country mourned her death.Idioms Most idioms containing whole are at the entries for the nouns and verbs in the idioms, for example go the whole hog is at hog.   (informal) very much; a lot I'm feeling a whole lot better.
    a whole lot (of something)
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     (informal) a large number or amount There were a whole lot of people I didn't know. I lost a whole lot of money.
     everything; all of something I've sold the whole lot.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: whole