On the Whole

Meaning of Idiom ‘On the Whole’

On the whole means generally, considering everything. 1Spears, Richard A. McGraw-Hill’s American Idioms Dictionary. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2008.,2Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

See synonyms:

By and Large

For the Most Part

Examples Of use

“Well, the morning didn’t start well but on the whole, it was a pretty productive day.”

“On the whole, I enjoy my job, but sometimes it can be boring.”

“It was, on the whole, a successful expedition, even though the explorers didn’t find the lost city.”

“How was your vacation?” asked Mirah. “It was good on the whole but I was sick during the last few days of it.”

Origin

Used since the late 1600s. 3Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

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Sources   [ + ]

1. Spears, Richard A. McGraw-Hill’s American Idioms Dictionary. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2008.
2, 3. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.