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

n the whole amount

aggregate, sum, totality
Type of:
unit, whole
an assemblage of parts that is regarded as a single entity

n a quantity obtained by the addition of a group of numbers

amount, sum
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

adj constituting the full quantity or extent; complete

“a total failure”
entire, full
including all components without exception; being one unit or constituting the full amount or extent or duration; complete

adj complete in extent or degree and in every particular

“a total eclipse”
“a total disaster”
having every necessary or normal part or component or step

v add up in number or quantity

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)

v determine the sum of

add, add together, add up, sum, sum up, summate, tally, tot, tot up, tote up
add, add together
make an addition by combining numbers
Type of:
count, enumerate, number, numerate
determine the number or amount of

v damage beyond the point of repair

“My son totaled our new car”
“the rock star totals his guitar at every concert”
Type of:
inflict damage upon

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