the sale of goods in quantity, as to retailers or jobbers, for resale (opposed to retail ).
of, pertaining 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.

1375–1425; late Middle English, from the phrase by hole sale in gross; see whole, sale

wholesaler, noun

3. far-reaching, comprehensive, thorough, inclusive; undiscriminating, promiscuous.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
wholesale (ˈhəʊlˌseɪl)
1.  Compare retail 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
2.  at wholesale
 a.  in large quantities
 b.  at wholesale prices
3.  of, relating to, or engaged in such business
4.  made, done, etc, on a large scale or without discrimination
5.  on a large scale or without discrimination
6.  to sell (goods) at wholesale

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1417, "in large quantities," from whole + sale; the general sense of "extensive" is attested from 1642.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

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.
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Example sentences
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.
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