See more synonyms for total on
  1. constituting or comprising the whole; entire; whole: the total expenditure.
  2. of or relating to the whole of something: the total effect of a play.
  3. complete in extent or degree; absolute; unqualified; utter: a total failure.
  4. involving all aspects, elements, participants, resources, etc.; unqualified; all-out: total war.
  1. the total amount; sum; aggregate: a total of $200.
  2. the whole; an entirety: the impressive total of Mozart's achievement.
verb (used with object), to·taled, to·tal·ing or (especially British) to·talled, to·tal·ling.
  1. to bring to a total; add up.
  2. to reach a total of; amount to.
  3. Slang. to wreck or demolish completely: He totaled his new car in the accident.
verb (used without object), to·taled, to·tal·ing or (especially British) to·talled, to·tal·ling.
  1. to amount (often followed by to).

Origin of total

1350–1400; Middle English (adj.) < Medieval Latin tōtālis, equivalent to Latin tōt(us) entire + -ālis -al1
Related formsqua·si-to·tal, adjectivequa·si-to·tal·ly, adverbre·to·tal, verb (used with object), re·to·taled, re·to·tal·ing or (especially British) re·to·talled, re·to·tal·ling, nounsu·per·to·tal, nounun·to·taled, adjectiveun·to·talled, adjective

Synonyms for total

See more synonyms for on
1. complete. 5, 6. gross, totality. 6. See whole. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for total

Contemporary Examples of total

Historical Examples of total

  • But the first words he uttered showed a total unconsciousness of past events.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • In other words Mr. Gladstone was threatened with total blindness.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • George had often played with his own friends, but never before with total strangers.

    Life in London

    Edwin Hodder

  • All around and above the furnace, there was total obscurity.

    Sketches from Memory

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • The total weight of the monoplane with engine and propeller is 352 pounds.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

British Dictionary definitions for total


  1. the whole, esp regarded as the complete sum of a number of parts
  1. complete; absolutethe evening was a total failure; a total eclipse
  2. (prenominal) being or related to a totalthe total number of passengers
verb -tals, -talling or -talled or US -tals, -taling or -taled
  1. (when intr, sometimes foll by to) to amountto total six pounds
  2. (tr) to add upto total a list of prices
  3. (tr) slang to kill or badly injure (someone)
  4. (tr) mainly US to damage (a vehicle) beyond repair
Derived Formstotally, adverb

Word Origin for total

C14: from Old French, from Medieval Latin tōtālis, from Latin tōtus all
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 total

late 14c., from Old French total, from Medieval Latin totalis "entire, total" (as in summa totalis "sum total"), from Latin totus "all, whole, entire," of unknown origin. Total war is attested from 1937, in reference to a concept developed in Germany.


1550s, from total (adj.).


1716, from total (n.). Meaning "to destroy one's car" first recorded 1954. Related: Totaled; totaling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper