Definition of total in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtōdl/


1 [attributive] Comprising the whole number or amount: a total cost of $4,000
More example sentences
  • The cost of the steel and its heat treatment amounts generally to less than a quarter of the total cost of the whole tool.
  • You can't predict with any accuracy the total amount of anything that the whole country's going to need.
  • The applicants' bill of costs is for a very large amount, with total fees of about $200,000.
entire, complete, whole, full, comprehensive, combined, aggregate, gross, overall, final
2Complete; absolute: a total stranger they drove home in total silence
More example sentences
  • Wilkinson is a desperately complex person, driven by a need for absolute perfection and total control in his life.
  • So the claim that there are conservatives who believe in some sort of absolute liberty is a total straw man.
  • Now the sort of response that you are offering is in absolute total contrast to everything that we have heard so far.
complete, utter, absolute, thorough, out-and-out, outright, all-out, sheer, perfect, consummate, arrant, positive, rank, unmitigated, unqualified, unreserved, categorical


The whole number or amount of something: he scored a total of thirty-three points in total, 200 people were interviewed
More example sentences
  • In total he has worked in the Caribbean for a total of three years at various times during his career.
  • In total with both actions, it could take five years and potentially longer.
  • In total, at the end of today, five people were sentenced to a total of 21 years.
sum, sum total, grand total, aggregate, result;
whole, entirety, totality

verb (totals, totaling, totaled ; British totals, totalling, totalled)

1 [with object] Amount in number to: they were left with debts totaling $6,260
More example sentences
  • It has debts totalling hundreds of billions of dollars and there has been no investment in its infrastructure for more than 20 years.
  • It also warned investors it had been hit by two bad debts totalling some £200,000.
  • At the end of 2001, net debt totaled some $2.60 trillion.
add up to, amount to, come to, run to, make, work out to
1.1Add up the full number or amount of: the scores were totaled
More example sentences
  • Overall scores are computed by totaling the number of critical endorsements the respondent has made.
  • Additionally, there was no difference in response rates if the partial and full responses are totaled.
  • Instead of scanning every item individually, an RFID till would simply total up every item in your shopping trolley as it approached.
add (up), count, reckon, tot up, tally, compute, work out
2 [with object] informal, chiefly North American Damage (something, typically a vehicle) beyond repair; wreck.
Example sentences
  • And it appears to have totaled the vehicle, smashed in the back end and broke all the windows.
  • Hull's vehicle was totaled and the train sustained $2,000 damage.
  • For a long time, even after I'd totaled two vehicles in collisions with deer, I continued to hold a similar view.


Late Middle English: via Old French from medieval Latin totalis, from totum 'the whole', neuter of Latin totus 'whole, entire'. The verb, at first in the sense 'add up', dates from the late 16th century.

Words that rhyme with total

anecdotal, sacerdotal, teetotal

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: to·tal

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