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holism

[ hoh-liz-uhm ]
/ ˈhoʊ lɪz əm /
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Definition of holism

noun
Philosophy. the theory that whole entities, as fundamental components of reality, have an existence other than as the mere sum of their parts.Compare organicism (def. 1).
Also holiatry. Medicine/Medical. care of the entire patient in all aspects of well-being, including physical, psychological, and social.
Psychology. any psychological system postulating that the human mind must be studied as a unit rather than as a sum of its individual parts.
Anthropology. an emphasis on the dynamic interrelatedness of mind, body, the individual, society, and the physical environment as key to understanding cultural phenomena: In anthropology, holism seeks to understand humans as both biological and cultural beings, as living in both the past and the present.
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Sometimes who·lism .

Origin of holism

hol- + -ism; term introduced by J.C. Smuts in Holism and Evolution (1926)

OTHER WORDS FROM holism

ho·list, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use holism in a sentence

  • Although holism sees human beings as integral organisms, holistic approaches are inclined to have this physical focus.

British Dictionary definitions for holism

holism
/ (ˈhəʊlɪzəm) /

noun
any doctrine that a system may have properties over and above those of its parts and their organization
the treatment of any subject as a whole integrated system, esp, in medicine, the consideration of the complete person, physically and psychologically, in the treatment of a diseaseSee also alternative medicine
philosophy one of a number of methodological theses holding that the significance of the parts can only be understood in terms of their contribution to the significance of the whole and that the latter must therefore be epistemologically priorCompare reductionism, atomism (def. 2)

Word Origin for holism

C20: from holo- + -ism
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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