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[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.
1926; hol(ism) + -istic
Related forms
holistically, adverb
Can be confused
holistic, wholistic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for holistic
  • The purely holistic approach to medicine was brutally ineffective
  • To employ a healthy and holistic plan for daily life is essential for all of us.
  • We took a holistic perspective and considered what was of ultimate importance.
  • His mother is a holistic practitioner.
  • Harley is taking a holistic approach to the aging issue.
  • Rather than relying on word lists, some school districts are taking a different, more holistic method to spelling instruction.
  • We need to take holistic measures because the Earth is a complex eco system.
  • holistic thinking means beginning with the understanding of the highest abstraction level.
  • The mid day meal program motivates children to attend and remain in school thereby ensuring their holistic overall development.
  • Comparative effectiveness research should be considered in the holistic context of the care cycle.
British Dictionary definitions for holistic


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 Forms
holistically, 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
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Word Origin and History for holistic

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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