[ hoh-lis-tik ]
/ hoʊˈlɪs tɪk /


incorporating the concept of holism, or the idea that the whole is more than merely the sum of its parts, in theory or practice: holistic psychology.
Medicine/Medical. identifying with principles of holism in a system of therapeutics, especially one considered outside the mainstream of scientific medicine, as naturopathy or chiropractic, and often involving nutritional measures: holistic medicine.

Nearby words

  1. holily,
  2. holiness,
  3. holinshed,
  4. holinshed, raphael,
  5. holism,
  6. holistic medicine,
  7. holkar state,
  8. holkham hall,
  9. holla,
  10. holland

Origin of holistic

First recorded in 1926; hol(ism) + -istic

Related formsho·lis·ti·cal·ly, adverb

Can be confusedholistic wholistic

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for holistic

British Dictionary definitions for holistic


/ (həʊˈlɪstɪk) /


of or relating to a doctrine of holism
of or relating to the the medical consideration of the complete person, physically and psychologically, in the treatment of a disease
Derived Formsholistically, adverb

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

Word Origin and History for holistic



1939, from holism + -istic. Holistic medicine is first attested 1960. Related: Holistically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper