total (adj.)

late 14c., from Old French total (14c.), from Medieval Latin totalis "entire, total" (as in summa totalis "sum total"), from Latin totus "all, all at once, the whole, entire, altogether," a word of unknown origin. Total war is attested from 1937 (William Shirer), in reference to a concept developed in Germany.

total (n.)

"whole amount, sum," 1550s, from total (adj.).

total (v.)

1716, "bring to a total," from total (n.). Intransitive sense "reach a total of" is from 1859. Meaning "to destroy one's car" first recorded 1954. Related: Totaled; totaling.

updated on May 12, 2017