Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Language: Old English
Origin: hal 'healthy, unhurt, complete'

whole

1 adjective
     
whole1 S1 W1
1 [only before noun] all of something [= entire]:
You have your whole life ahead of you!
His whole attitude bugs me.
We ate the whole cake in about ten minutes.
The whole thing (=everything about the situation) just makes me sick.
We just sat around and watched TV the whole time (=the only thing we did was watch television).
I don't believe she's telling us the whole story (=all the facts).
It was months before the whole truth came out.
the whole school/country/village etc (=all the people in a school, country etc)
The whole town came out for the parade.
2

whole lot

informal
a)

a whole lot

very much:
I'm feeling a whole lot better.
I don't cook a whole lot anymore.
b)

a whole lot (of something)

a large quantity or number:
We're going to have a whole lot of problems if we don't finish this by tomorrow.
You can find a nice house in this neighborhood, and you don't have to spend a whole lot.
c)

the whole lot

especially British English all of something:
She gave me the whole lot for 20 pounds.
3

a whole range/series/variety etc (of something)

used to emphasize that there are a lot of things of a similar type:
There are a whole range of sizes to choose from.
4 complete and not divided or broken into parts:
Place a whole onion inside the chicken.
a snake swallowing a mouse whole (=swallowing it without chewing)
5

the whole point (of something)

used to emphasize the purpose for doing something, especially when you believe this is unclear or has been forgotten:
I thought the whole point of the meeting was to decide which offer to accept.
6

in the whole (wide) world

informal an expression meaning 'anywhere' or 'at all', used to emphasize a statement:
I have the best job in the whole wide world.
7

go the whole hog

also go whole hog American English informal to do something as completely or as well as you can, without any limits:
I'm gonna go whole hog and have a live band at the barbecue.
8

the whole nine yards

American English spoken including everything that is typical of or possible in an activity, situation, set of things etc:
Our new apartment complex has a tennis court, swimming pool, playground - the whole nine yards.
wholeness noun [uncountable]

➔ a whole new ball game

at ball game (3)

; ➔ the whole shebang

at shebang

; ➔ the whole shooting match

at shooting match

; ➔ the whole enchilada

at enchilada (3), wholly

Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.

Explore our topic dictionary