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 psychologic system postulating that the human mind must be studied as a unit rather than as a sum of its individual parts.
- holinshed, raphael,
- holistic medicine,
- holkar state,
- holkham hall,
Origin of holism
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
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
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
1926, apparently by South African Gen. J.C. Smuts (1870-1950) in his book "Holism and Evolution" which treats of evolution as a process of unification of separate parts; from Greek holos "whole" (see safe (adj.)) + -ism.
This character of "wholeness" meets us everywhere and points to something fundamental in the universe. Holism (from [holos] = whole) is the term here coined for this fundamental factor operative towards the creation of wholes in the universe. [Smuts, "Holism and Evolution," p.86]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
The theory that living matter or reality is made up of organic or unified wholes that are greater than the simple sum of their parts.
A holistic investigation or system of treatment.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.