on the whole

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - on the whole

"on the whole"

considering everything;


in most instances


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - on the whole

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  How was your camping trip?

Friend 2: Alright.  The mosquitoes were pretty bad in the evenings.  It rained a couple of times.  We saw a lot of wildlife, though, and had a lot of fun.

Friend 1:  So, on the whole, it was a good trip?

Friend 2:  Absolutely.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - on the whole

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  How did your presentation go?

Colleague 2:  I think most of the audience were quite enthusiastic. We got a lot of questions afterwards. There were a couple of technical glitches and I forgot the speech for one of the slides.

Colleague 1:  Did you make any sales?

Colleague 2: We made eight sales in total.

Colleague 1:  That's great. By the sounds of it, on the whole, it was a success.

on the whole - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   12,219   click for frequency by country

on the whole - Gerund Form:

There is no gerund form for on the whole.

on the whole - Examples:

1)  ... it could be useful for certain instances, but on the whole it sounds like a gimmick until it has a broader reach.

2)  The more secular a society is, on the whole the more amusing it is, and the better the food.

3)  On the whole, the establishment media still suffers from rudimentary, linear thinking, often lacks the ...

4)  ... have interacted with dozens of venture capitalists and CEOs in Silicon Valley. On the whole, they are amongst the most open-minded and inclusive people I know. 

5)  On the whole, gender differences are becoming less important in social attitudes and most point to a ...

6)  This bacterial suicide is probably good for the bacteria population on the whole. If nutrients are running low, then better for some bacteria to die off ...

7)  Consequently, the cycles of human activity corresponded, on the whole, to natural cycles.

8)  League One teams, on the whole, do provide a much sterner test for their non league counterparts.

9)  I've never seen such a hot button topic approached, on the whole, so maturely and with so much respect.

10)  These sciences, too, had been making advances, but on the whole they were still concerned with what Dr. Weaver calls preliminary stages for application of analysis ...

11)  ... anyone who has studied the issue can tell, despite vast differences, on the whole, humanity has never been better.

12)  I think that both models are probably correct in certain situations, but on the whole, I think that Toomey would hurt over the short-term given ...

13)  There was a nuance here and an emphasis there, but on the whole the debate wasn't nearly as interesting as ...

14)  Our relationship on the whole is healthy and happy, but I realize now that we need to work on ...

15)  Advertising, on the whole, is tolerated far more than it is desired.

16)  But, on the whole, it is not made clear, so they operate in blind acquiescence to it ...

17)  Endermen may creep some people out, but on the whole they aren't too scary in and of themselves.

18)  ... something we atheists should do to maintain our integrity, but, on the whole, it will be beneficial in reducing the level of prejudice against atheists.

19)  ... and only two such instances could be classified as such. Thus, on the whole, the survey results are not heavily affected by central-tendency bias.

20)  ... private schools have been failures, and some may have failed, but on the whole, most do a better job than the public schools, though its not hard ...