What word does your mother always say?


[hohl-seyl] /ˈhoʊlˌseɪl/
the sale of goods in quantity, as to retailers or jobbers, for resale (opposed to retail).
of, relating to, or engaged in sale by wholesale.
extensive; broadly indiscriminate:
wholesale discharge of workers.
in a wholesale way; on wholesale terms:
I can get it for you wholesale.
in large quantities; on a large scale, especially without discrimination:
Wild horses were slaughtered wholesale.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), wholesaled, wholesaling.
to sell by wholesale.
Origin of wholesale
1375-1425; late Middle English, from the phrase by hole sale in gross; see whole, sale
Related forms
wholesaler, noun
3. far-reaching, comprehensive, thorough, inclusive; undiscriminating, promiscuous. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for wholesale
  • wholesale sales rose as well, at the fastest pace in five months.
  • And this is at a discount to the wholesale price of power, because the power companies have to pay for upkeep of the grid.
  • Supporters of wholesale government surveillance are fond of saying that only the guilty should be worried about spying.
  • The housewife may expect a drop in sugar cost if current price movements in the wholesale markets prevail.
  • So don't, in turn, reject people wholesale for their official rejection of you.
  • Stores have seen waves of panic buying, and a wholesale warehouse was looted.
  • It will simply pack up and move wholesale to areas not being run by drooling mouth breathers.
  • With the exception of a couple, our state system has seen a wholesale reduction of counseling staff.
  • Some people may actually prefer sensing immediate pain wholesale by weathering it out in a scaled and proportionate manner.
  • New wholesale outlets will be set up where supplies can be bought.
British Dictionary definitions for wholesale


the business of selling goods to retailers in larger quantities than they are sold to final consumers but in smaller quantities than they are purchased from manufacturers Compare retail (sense 1)
at wholesale
  1. in large quantities
  2. at wholesale prices
of, relating to, or engaged in such business
made, done, etc, on a large scale or without discrimination
on a large scale or without discrimination
to sell (goods) at wholesale
Derived Forms
wholesaler, noun
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for wholesale

early 15c., "in large quantities," from whole + sale; the general sense of "extensive" is attested from 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
wholesale in Culture

wholesale definition

The sale of merchandise to retailers rather than directly to the public.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for wholesale

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for wholesale

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with wholesale