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From Middle English total, from Old French total, from Medieval Latin tōtālis, from tōtus (all, whole, entire), of unknown origin. Perhaps related to Oscan 𐌕𐌏𐌖𐌕𐌏 (toutocommunity, city-state)Umbrian 𐌕𐌏𐌕𐌀𐌌 (totamtribeacc.)Old English þēod (a nation, people, tribe), from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂ (people). More at English DutchEnglish thede.


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key)/ˈtəʊ.təl/
  • (General American) enPR: tōʹtl, IPA(key)/ˈtoʊ.təl/[tʰoʊ̯ɾɫ][tʰɔɾɫ]

Alternative forms

  • totall (obsolete)


total (plural totals)

  1. An amount obtained by the addition of smaller amounts.
    total of £145 was raised by the bring-and-buy stall.
  2. (informal,mathematics) Sum.
    The total of 4, 5 and 6 is 15.


total (comparative more totalsuperlative most total)

  1. Entire; relating to the whole of something.
    The total book is rubbish from start to finish.  The total number of votes cast is 3,270.
  2. (used as an intensifier) Complete; absolute.
    He is a total failure.
  3. (mathematics) (of a function) Defined on all possible inputs.
    The Ackermann function is one of the simplest and earliest examples of a totalcomputable function that is not primitive recursive.


total (third-person singular simple present totalspresent participle (UK) totalling or (US) totalingsimple past and past participle (UK) totalled or (US) totaled)

  1. (transitive) To add up; to calculate the sum of.
    Synonym: sum
    When we totalled the takings, we always got a different figure.
  2. To equal a total of; to amount to.
    That totals seven times so far.
  3. (transitive, US, slang) To demolish; to wreck completely. (from total loss)
    Synonyms: demolishtrashwreck
    Honey, I’m OK, but I’ve totaled the car.
  4. (intransitive) To amount to; to add up to.
    It totals nearly a pound.
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