What word or phrase does your mother always say?


[hohl-suh m] /ˈhoʊl səm/
conducive to moral or general well-being; salutary; beneficial:
wholesome recreation; wholesome environment.
conducive to bodily health; healthful; salubrious:
wholesome food; wholesome air; wholesome exercise.
suggestive of physical or moral health, especially in appearance.
healthy or sound.
Origin of wholesome
1150-1200; Middle English ho(o)lsom (see whole, -some1); cognate with Old High German heilsam, Old Norse heilsamr
Related forms
wholesomely, adverb
wholesomeness, noun
1. helpful; good. 2. nourishing, nutritious. 2, 3. See healthy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for wholesome
  • Dine in restaurants that feature healthy portions of uncomplicated and wholesome food.
  • Inspectors ensure that food is pure and wholesome, safe to eat, and properly labeled according to current laws and requirements.
  • Foods should be pure and wholesome, safe to eat, and produced under sanitary conditions.
  • In the hominess of the diner, eggs and potatoes steaming on our plates, it all seemed sort of old-fashioned and wholesome.
  • Second, he draws attention to his wholesome private life.
  • Or any other sort of wholesome family reunion or holiday.
  • And popular pressure has prompted many fast-food outlets to offer salads and other wholesome fare.
  • There is something wholesome and heartwarming about slug lines.
  • We can get the wholesome benefits of diversity by letting diversity happen rather than trying to manipulate people.
  • But it's an ideally wholesome clan, and both wilderness and fauna are photogenic and endearing.
British Dictionary definitions for wholesome


conducive to health or physical wellbeing
conducive to moral wellbeing
characteristic or suggestive of health or wellbeing, esp in appearance
Derived Forms
wholesomely, adverb
wholesomeness, noun
Word Origin
C12: from whole (healthy) + -some1; related to German heilsam healing
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 wholesome

c.1200, "of benefit to the soul," from whole (in the "healthy" sense) + -some (1). Physical sense first attested late 14c. Related: Wholesomely; wholesomeness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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