Definition of holism noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈhəʊlɪzəm//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈhoʊlɪzəm//
    ; BrE BrE//ˈhɒlɪzəm//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈhɑːlɪzəm//
    [uncountable] Complementary medicine
    jump to other results
  1. 1the idea that the whole of something must be considered in order to understand its different parts compare atomism
  2. 2the idea that the whole of a sick person, including their body, mind and way of life, should be considered when treating them, and not just the symptoms (= effects) of the disease Wordfinderacupuncture, chiropractor, complementary medicine, herbalism, holistic, homeopathy, hypnotist, massage, reflexology, treatment See related entries: Complementary medicine
  3. Word Origin1920s: from holo- ‘whole’ + -ism; coined by J. C. Smuts to designate the tendency in nature to produce organized “wholes” (bodies or organisms) from the ordered grouping of units.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: holism