Definition of total in English:



  • 1[attributive] Comprising the whole number or amount.

    ‘a total cost of £4,000’
    • ‘The total amount distributed to our nominated charities was £11,000.’
    • ‘Data are sampling-date percentages relative to the total amount of emerged or shed leaves during the whole year.’
    • ‘The cost of the steel and its heat treatment amounts generally to less than a quarter of the total cost of the whole tool.’
    • ‘During the period of our ownership, the total cost of our new investment has amounted to over £30m.’
    • ‘The other aspect of this problem is that it is as much about the poor allocation of funds on the wrong priorities as it is about the total amount being spent.’
    • ‘You can put complementary fruit in as long as the total amount of fruit is 3 cups.’
    • ‘The total amount collected will be announced at a later date.’
    • ‘Across England, the total amount being earned from diversification projects now stands at £100m per year.’
    • ‘This was agreed in principle, the amount being dependent on the total cost of the works.’
    • ‘The applicants' bill of costs is for a very large amount, with total fees of about $200,000.’
    • ‘According to the figures the total amount of violent crime rose 11 per cent to more than 812,000 incidents.’
    • ‘Point out that this means they won't have to come up with the entire total cost at one time.’
    • ‘It does not seem to me to be a good reason for keeping him out of some of his costs that you need time to work out the total amount.’
    • ‘You can't predict with any accuracy the total amount of anything that the whole country's going to need.’
    • ‘As much as $180,000 has been cited as missing, with no official confirmation of the total amount.’
    • ‘The total cost of all hotel accommodation for the month amounted to €29,316.’
    • ‘Thus, the total amount is not even one-fifth of what they produce.’
    • ‘Our total bid amounted to less than seven per cent of the total project costs.’
    • ‘The total amount raised will be announced when the fund closes.’
    • ‘The newsletter, released last week, showed this was the total amount of donations given to the hospice in lieu of gifts to the couple.’
    entire, complete, whole, full, comprehensive, combined, aggregate, gross, overall, composite, integral
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  • 2Complete; absolute.

    ‘it is a matter of total indifference to me’
    ‘a total stranger’
    • ‘Where else would you see total strangers letting someone else use the bathrooms in their house?’
    • ‘Now if we have a left largely unable to distinguish the future from what they want to be the future, is it any wonder at the total indifference of so many lefties to this threat?’
    • ‘On the other hand, just as comparing intrinsic qualities is subjectively unrealistic, comparing absolutes is a total waste.’
    • ‘The rest of us can readily vouch for him as a man of total and absolute integrity, a friend above reproach.’
    • ‘She was afraid they would get themselves in trouble if they came to the court and the jury voted for acquittal - but the verdict was heard in total silence.’
    • ‘During the day we were forced to sit in the cell (we couldn't lie down) in total silence.’
    • ‘He praised toleration, yet he advocated an absolute sovereign with total power over intellectual matters.’
    • ‘Wilkinson is a desperately complex person, driven by a need for absolute perfection and total control in his life.’
    • ‘In the cells the prisoners were not allowed to speak at all (so there was total silence) and the rations were very low.’
    • ‘The match, eventually won by Pakistan, was completed in total silence in an empty stadium.’
    • ‘Are people we sort-of know, who are used to being on camera, inherently less interesting to watch and talk about than a bunch of total strangers?’
    • ‘Capable of 80 mph in almost total silence, it was powered by 13 batteries.’
    • ‘Indeed, were I to find myself in that sort of position, I would prefer for a total stranger to do that to me, rather than a friend.’
    • ‘She asked him where he was but there was just total silence.’
    • ‘Like I say, it will go absolutely anywhere with total confidence, even dug-up Dublin city centre.’
    • ‘Now the sort of response that you are offering is in absolute total contrast to everything that we have heard so far.’
    • ‘I wonder how well one would describe their next door neighbor or even their mother to a total stranger.’
    • ‘Recently a total stranger insisted we were acquainted.’
    • ‘So the claim that there are conservatives who believe in some sort of absolute liberty is a total straw man.’
    • ‘I felt a tinge of pessimism as I passed by thousands of total strangers exchanging high-fives and hugs.’
    complete, utter, absolute, thorough, perfect, downright, out-and-out, outright, thoroughgoing, all-out, sheer, positive, prize, rank, pure, dyed-in-the-wool, deep-dyed, real, consummate, veritable, unmitigated, unqualified, unadulterated, unalloyed, unconditional, unequivocal, full, unlimited, limitless, infinite, ultimate, through and through, in-depth
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  • The whole number or amount of something.

    ‘he scored a total of thirty-three points’
    ‘in total, 200 people were interviewed’
    • ‘It also won 17 silvers and one special silver award, scoring a total of 23 points.’
    • ‘In total with both actions, it could take five years and potentially longer.’
    • ‘Over 500 runs were scored and only a total of seven wickets fell.’
    • ‘Turnout and vote totals won't be known for quite a while.’
    • ‘In total, at the end of today, five people were sentenced to a total of 21 years.’
    • ‘Education in America is financed mostly by state and local governments, whose expenditures aren't even counted in these totals.’
    • ‘Only four points were scored in total in that period and it was a relief to all when the final whistle was blown.’
    • ‘Forecasting is not accurate enough to support laws that set quantitative targets for budget totals.’
    • ‘In competition, boulderers are scored on a total of five or six different climbs.’
    • ‘We may currently not have much in our aggregate totals of giving, but, into the future we are the alumni base for which the school will lean on.’
    • ‘The resulting totals for each intron were then randomly resampled with replacement and a value of m was calculated from each resultant data set.’
    • ‘The Waterford team have now scored a total of 14 goals in their three games played and they have conceded only one.’
    • ‘The top 64 bowlers roll nine more games, with totals from round one carrying over.’
    • ‘Votes are counted locally but the totals are calculated nationally, and seats in parliament are awarded in proportion to votes.’
    • ‘And in a recent win over St. Francis of Brooklyn, she scored a total of 23 points that was the game high.’
    • ‘He starred for this club Old Mill all year scoring a total of 36 goals.’
    • ‘In total he has worked in the Caribbean for a total of three years at various times during his career.’
    • ‘In the final standings it was District Six scoring a total of 415 points.’
    • ‘Queen's forward Amy Goodall scored a total of 24 points in the affair, adding 6 rebounds.’
    • ‘Four thousand athletes in total will be turning out to represent them.’
    sum, sum total, grand total, aggregate
    whole, entirety, totality, summation, result
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  • 1[with object] Amount in number to.

    ‘they were left with debts totalling £6,260’
    • ‘The answer was a list of 21 countries with debts totalling over $4-billion.’
    • ‘In order to qualify for debt relief, the HIPC Initiative requires a country to have a debt totalling more than 150 per cent of their annual exports.’
    • ‘Last year CAS dealt with more than 160,000 debt cases totalling 70 million, an increase of 10m on the previous year.’
    • ‘Yes, there is a big number for household debt, which totals $9.5 trillion.’
    • ‘It has debts totalling hundreds of billions of dollars and there has been no investment in its infrastructure for more than 20 years.’
    • ‘Combined with a cut in big donations from private supporters the Labour party is facing a financial crisis, with debts totalling 12 million.’
    • ‘It was one of several major debts which pushed the club into administration last summer with debts totalling about £36 million.’
    • ‘The Telegraph & Argus reported in November how unspent cash in some schools totalled £15 million, while others had debts totalling more than £7 million.’
    • ‘At the end of 2001, net debt totaled some $2.60 trillion.’
    • ‘Never one to laugh at the misfortunes of others, it is upsetting, nay distressing to read that Leeds United Football Club may be forced into administration with debts totalling eighty-one million pounds.’
    • ‘It also warned investors it had been hit by two bad debts totalling some £200,000.’
    • ‘The club, after all, have lost more than £20m in the past three years, despite last season's run to the UEFA Cup final, and have a debt totalling £17.8m.’
    • ‘A North Yorkshire businessman has been banned from being a company director for eight years after he was involved in the running of three companies in succession that collapsed with debts totalling £1,428,000.’
    • ‘Surveys have suggested that graduates can expect to university with student loan, overdraft and other debts totalling between £10,000 and £15,000.’
    • ‘He shares a university-owned Fulford flat, earns £10,000 a year and has student debts totalling £12,000.’
    • ‘Figures released this week reveal that £15 million remains unspent in school bank accounts across Bradford district, while others struggle with debts totalling £7 million.’
    • ‘The business had debts totalling more than $300 million, of which $23 million were owned to its former employees.’
    • ‘Chairman of the board Glen Boldy says the liquidator would sell assets - including the theatre in Chapel Street - to pay debts totalling £50,000.’
    • ‘Mr Dowd was bought in to the Southampton Road campus to help revive the troubled college, after revelations that it had debts totalling more than £1m.’
    • ‘With the banks pressing for repayment of debts totalling £6m, Hughes needed some money quickly and had his eye on exploiting some land he had bought called Poppyfields, in Branton, Doncaster.’
    add up to, amount to, mount up to, come to, run to, make, correspond to, equal, work out as, number
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    1. 1.1Add up the full number or amount of.
      ‘the scores were totalled’
      • ‘Instead of scanning every item individually, an RFID till would simply total up every item in your shopping trolley as it approached.’
      • ‘The next step is to total up those monthly outgoings and make sure they fall within your net income.’
      • ‘I finally get all the ornaments scanned and bagged and total up the purchase.’
      • ‘Scores were totaled with scores of 6-7 as the cut-off points.’
      • ‘Additionally, there was no difference in response rates if the partial and full responses are totaled.’
      • ‘I parred the 18th hole, and as we sat sipping iced tea, I totalled my score and realized that I had shot 79.’
      • ‘So I took the trouble to total up the popular vote for the House this time.’
      • ‘One day you stop, total up the pennies and are surprised to learn how much you have saved.’
      • ‘On each turn, a player rolls a die as many times as he or she wishes, totaling the score of the rolls until the player decides to end the turn and pass the die to his or her opponent.’
      • ‘Simply list and total up all the assets that you own in one column.’
      • ‘After that round, the judges totalled the scores to come up with the final five.’
      • ‘Both sides' scores are then totalled and if the game is being played for money, the side with the higher score wins an amount proportional to the difference in scores from the side with the lower score.’
      • ‘We calculated a job satisfaction score by totalling the scores for all five statements: 20 or more represented a positive response, on average, to all statements, and we suggest that this shows a high level of satisfaction.’
      • ‘The number of challenges was totaled, and scores were categorized into two groups representing ‘less than two’ or ‘two or more’ parenting challenges.’
      • ‘Each plan received an overall score that was calculated by totaling the score on all sections and dividing by six.’
      • ‘The top four overall point-getters when the two scores are totaled up will comprise the women's team and represent the United States in these two international championships this fall.’
      • ‘Now add up all your debts and total the minimum payments due on each.’
      • ‘A series of games is played, the deal passing to the right after each game and the scores are totalled.’
      • ‘As the bloodiest century in human history drew to a close, historians began to total up the casualties.’
      • ‘Overall scores are computed by totaling the number of critical endorsements the respondent has made.’
      add, sum, count, reckon, tot, compute, work out, take stock of
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  • 2North American informal [with object] Damage (something, typically a vehicle) beyond repair; wreck.

    ‘he almost totaled the car’
    • ‘The vehicle was totaled, trapping the two occupants inside.’
    • ‘I used to be her taxi service, until she totaled my car doing donuts in a cul-de-sac.’
    • ‘However, if they have an accident and totaled their vehicle, the insurance company will only pay them the wholesale value of the vehicle.’
    • ‘So, it's just a matter of time before I'm in my first accident that totals my car.’
    • ‘I had just turned 16 and, unfortunately with a number of other teenagers, I had just totaled my first car.’
    • ‘Because cars depreciate so rapidly, an accident that totals your car could leave you with a sizable chunk left to pay back to the bank.’
    • ‘And it appears to have totaled the vehicle, smashed in the back end and broke all the windows.’
    • ‘My friend was in a car injury last month and her car was totalled.’
    • ‘You assume the car is totaled, even though you can't see what it looks like in front.’
    • ‘I am surprised I didn't get broken ribs like yourself, my car is totaled.’
    • ‘Last May the two girls had been in a car accident together totaling Chelsea's car.’
    • ‘For a long time, even after I'd totaled two vehicles in collisions with deer, I continued to hold a similar view.’
    • ‘Our truck was totaled and the trailer was damaged enough to merit replacement.’
    • ‘His car is totalled and he, too, needs to get to court to prevent his wife from getting sole custody of his children and moving away.’
    • ‘After totaling the vehicle, not to mention about nine police cruisers (but somehow, not dying), he is sent to a prison in the middle of nowhere.’
    • ‘She knew at those speeds she could easily smack into his back end and total both their cars.’
    • ‘High-deductible health insurance operates the same way high-deductible auto insurance does: It does not pay for the equivalent of your oil change but does pay you when your car is totaled.’
    • ‘My wife was in her car, and she went through a fence and went down 70 feet, just straight down, and totaled the car, and she was able to be pulled out by the police.’
    • ‘Hull's vehicle was totaled and the train sustained $2,000 damage.’
    • ‘But to her dismay, the car was totaled in an accident five months after she eliminated the debt.’
    wreck, crash, smash, destroy, damage beyond repair, demolish
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    1. 2.1Kill or severely injure (someone)
      ‘we'd just totaled a couple of teenage boys’
      • ‘When you start incurring damage on your car, the animations of your vehicle losing its parts like doors and hoods (and if you are totaled, bursting into a flaming wreck) are great.’
      • ‘‘Looks like you got totaled by a loser,’ the bartender laughed.’


Late Middle English: via Old French from medieval Latin totalis, from totum the whole, neuter of Latin totus whole, entire. The verb, at first in the sense ‘add up’, dates from the late 16th century.