[ hoh-luhs-boh-luhs ]

  1. all at once; altogether.

Origin of holus-bolus

First recorded in 1840–50; mock-Latin rhyming compound based on the phrase whole bolus, or possibly a Latinization of Greek hólos bôlos “whole lump, clod of earth, nugget”; see origin at whole, bolus

Words Nearby holus-bolus

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How to use holus-bolus in a sentence

  • holus-bolus, 'sicut examen apum,' ye decamp at the word of a single foe!

    The Day of Wrath | Maurus Jkai
  • They had just killed the animal, and were roasting it whole, holus-bolus, unskinned and undressed.

    Spinifex and Sand | David W Carnegie
  • His district was infested with blacks, so he plunged holus-bolus into their private affairs.

  • Each train was unloaded as it arrived and its contents thrown holus-bolus into one of the holds, except for the wheeled vehicles.

  • There was a first-class carr'ge door opin right forninst me, an' into that the gyard crams me holus-bolus.

    Martin Hewitt, Investigator | Arthur Morrison

British Dictionary definitions for holus-bolus


/ (ˈhəʊləsˈbəʊləs) /

  1. informal all at once

Origin of holus-bolus

C19: pseudo-Latin based on whole bolus; see bolus

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