There are many meanings of total, but they all have something to do with completeness. A total is a whole or complete amount, and "to total" is to add numbers or to destroy something.

In math, you total numbers by adding them: the result is the total. If you add 8 and 8, the total is 16. If a car is totaled in an accident, it has been completely destroyed. A total defeat is a complete and utter defeat with no chance of recovering. The total resources of a company are all its resources, everything it has.

Definitions of total
  1. noun
    the whole amount
    synonyms: aggregate, sum, totality
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    type of:
    unit, whole
    an assemblage of parts that is regarded as a single entity
  2. noun
    a quantity obtained by the addition of a group of numbers
    synonyms: amount, sum
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    grand total
    the sum of the sums of several groups of numbers
    the sum of part of a group of numbers
    type of:
    the concept that something has a magnitude and can be represented in mathematical expressions by a constant or a variable
  3. adjective
    constituting the full quantity or extent; complete
    “a total failure”
    synonyms: entire, full
    including all components without exception; being one unit or constituting the full amount or extent or duration; complete
  4. adjective
    complete in extent or degree and in every particular
    “a total eclipse”
    “a total disaster”
    synonyms: full
    having every necessary or normal part or component or step
  5. verb
    add up in number or quantity
    synonyms: add up, amount, come, number
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    work out
    be calculated
    be larger in number
    average, average out
    amount to or come to an average, without loss or gain
    add up to
    type of:
    have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)
  6. verb
    determine the sum of
    synonyms: add, add together, add up, sum, sum up, summate, tally, tot, tot up, tote up
    add, add together
    make an addition by combining numbers
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    type of:
    count, enumerate, number, numerate
    determine the number or amount of
  7. verb
    damage beyond the point of repair
    “My son totaled our new car”
    “the rock star totals his guitar at every concert”
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    type of:
    inflict damage upon
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