# Aggregate vs. Total: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Updated on September 21, 2023
Aggregate refers to the whole formed by combining several elements, while total is the final cumulative sum of individual units or amounts.

## Key Differences

Aggregate refers to a collective amount, sum, or mass that is composed of many individual parts. It is a concept used to describe a total amount that is made up of smaller individual units. Total, on the other hand, is a term used to describe the final cumulative sum of individual units or amounts. It is often used to indicate the whole amount of a series of items added together.
While aggregate encompasses the combination of different elements to form a whole, total is more about addition and summation. The concept of aggregate is often associated with the collection and assembly of disparate components to create a comprehensive whole. Total, conversely, is typically related to numerical summation, representing the cumulative amount of added numbers or quantities.
The word aggregate is not solely confined to numeric values; it can also refer to a compilation of various diverse elements. For instance, in construction, aggregate refers to a mixture of materials like sand, gravel, and crushed stone that are combined with cement to make concrete. Total, meanwhile, strictly represents a numeric value that signifies the conclusive sum of a sequence of numbers.
Understanding the nuances between aggregate and total is important in various domains like mathematics, statistics, and economics. Aggregate is more about collection and combination, symbolizing the accumulated sum or mass of different elements. Total signifies the end sum of numerical values, representing the concluding value in arithmetic calculations.

## Comparison Chart

### Definition

A whole formed by combining several elements.
The final cumulative sum of amounts.

### Numeric Application

May or may not strictly imply numeric application.
Strictly implies a numeric value.

### Use in Construction

Refers to a mixture of materials.
Does not have a specific application.

### Contextual Application

Can relate to varied contexts and represent collections.
Primarily represents final sums.

### Flexibility

Has diverse application in language.
Has a narrower, more specific application.

## Aggregate and Total Definitions

#### Aggregate

Aggregate can refer to a total amount made up of smaller amounts.
The aggregate of his monthly expenses was higher than expected.

#### Total

Total denotes the sum of a set of numbers or quantities.
The total sum of his earnings was significant.

#### Aggregate

Constituting or amounting to a whole; total
Aggregate sales in that market.

#### Total

Total refers to the final cumulative sum of individual amounts.
The total of the invoice was \$500.

#### Aggregate

(Botany) Crowded or massed into a dense cluster.

#### Total

An amount obtained by addition; a sum.

#### Aggregate

Composed of a mixture of minerals separable by mechanical means.

#### Total

The whole amount of something; the entirety
The storm damaged the total of the housing units.

#### Aggregate

A total considered with reference to its constituent parts; a gross amount
"An empire is the aggregate of many states under one common head" (Edmund Burke).

#### Total

Of, relating to, or constituting the whole amount; entire
The total population of the city.

#### Aggregate

The mineral materials, such as sand or stone, used in making concrete.

#### Total

Complete; utter; absolute
Total concentration.
A total effort.
A total fool.

#### Aggregate

To gather into a mass, sum, or whole
Aggregated the donations into one bank account.

#### Total

To determine the total of; add up
They totaled the applications at 600.

#### Aggregate

To amount to; total
Revenues will aggregate more than one million dollars.

#### Total

To equal a total of; amount to
The week's receipts totaled more than \$90,000.

#### Aggregate

To collect (content from different sources on the internet) into one webpage or newsreader.

#### Total

To wreck completely; demolish
The driver survived the crash but totaled the car.

#### Aggregate

To come together or collect in a mass or whole
"Some [bacteria]aggregate so closely as to mimic a multicellular organism" (Gina Kolata). "The first stars began to form when hydrogen and helium gas left over from the Big Bang aggregated into dense clouds" (Paul Davies).

#### Total

It totals to \$25.

#### Aggregate

A mass, assemblage, or sum of particulars; something consisting of elements but considered as a whole.

#### Total

An amount obtained by the addition of smaller amounts.
A total of £145 was raised by the bring-and-buy stall.

#### Aggregate

A mass formed by the union of homogeneous particles; – in distinction from a compound, formed by the union of heterogeneous particles.

#### Total

Sum.
The total of 4, 5 and 6 is 15.

#### Aggregate

A set collection of objects.

#### Total

Entire; relating to the whole of something.
The total book is rubbish from start to finish.
The total number of votes cast is 3,270.

#### Aggregate

(music) The full chromatic scale of twelve equal tempered pitches.

#### Total

(used as an intensifier) Complete; absolute.
He is a total failure.

#### Aggregate

(sports) The total score in a set of games between teams or competitors, usually the combination of the home and away scores.

#### Total

(mathematics) (of a function) Defined on all possible inputs.
The Ackermann function is one of the simplest and earliest examples of a total computable function that is not primitive recursive.

#### Aggregate

(roofing) Crushed stone, crushed slag or water-worn gravel used for surfacing a built-up roof system.

#### Total

(transitive) To add up; to calculate the sum of.
When we totalled the takings, we always got a different figure.

#### Aggregate

Solid particles of low aspect ratio added to a composite material, as distinguished from the matrix and any fibers or reinforcements; especially the gravel and sand added to concrete.

#### Total

To equal a total of; to amount to.
That totals seven times so far.

#### Aggregate

(Buddhism) Any of the five attributes that constitute the sentient being.

#### Total

To demolish; to wreck completely. (from total loss)
Honey, I’m OK, but I’ve totaled the car.

#### Aggregate

A mechanical mixture of more than one phase.

#### Total

(intransitive) To amount to; to add up to.
It totals nearly a pound.

#### Aggregate

Formed by a collection of particulars into a whole mass or sum; collective; combined; added up.

#### Total

Whole; not divided; entire; full; complete; absolute; as, a total departure from the evidence; a total loss.

#### Aggregate

Consisting or formed of smaller objects or parts.

#### Total

The whole; the whole sum or amount; as, these sums added make the grand total of five millions.

#### Aggregate

Formed into clusters or groups of lobules.
Aggregate glands

#### Total

To bring to a total; also, to reach as a total; to amount to.

#### Aggregate

(botany) Composed of several florets within a common involucre, as in the daisy; or of several carpels formed from one flower, as in the raspberry.

#### Total

To determine the total of (a set of numbers); to add; - often used with up; as, to total up the bill.

#### Aggregate

Having the several component parts adherent to each other only to such a degree as to be separable by mechanical means.

#### Total

To damage beyond repair; - used especially of vehicles damaged in an accident; as, he skid on an ice patch and totaled his Mercedes against a tree. From total loss.

#### Aggregate

United into a common organized mass; said of certain compound animals.

The whole amount

#### Aggregate

(transitive) To bring together; to collect into a mass or sum.
The aggregated soil.

#### Aggregate

To add or unite (e.g. a person), to an association.

#### Total

Add up in number or quantity;
The bills amounted to \$2,000
The bill came to \$2,000

#### Aggregate

(transitive) To amount in the aggregate to.
There are ten loads, aggregating five hundred bushels.

#### Total

Determine the sum of;
Add all the people in this town to those of the neighboring town

#### Aggregate

To bring together; to collect into a mass or sum. "The aggregated soil."

#### Total

Constituting the full quantity or extent; complete;
An entire town devastated by an earthquake
Gave full attention
A total failure

#### Aggregate

To add or unite, as, a person, to an association.
It is many times hard to discern to which of the two sorts, the good or the bad, a man ought to be aggregated.

#### Total

Including everything;
The overall cost
The total amount owed

#### Aggregate

To amount in the aggregate to; as, ten loads, aggregating five hundred bushels.

#### Total

Without conditions or limitations;
A total ban

#### Aggregate

Formed by a collection of particulars into a whole mass or sum; collective.
The aggregate testimony of many hundreds.

#### Total

Complete in extent or degree and in every particular;
A full game
A total eclipse
A total disaster

#### Aggregate

Formed into clusters or groups of lobules; as, aggregate glands.

#### Total

Total can also mean complete or absolute.
The car was a total loss after the accident.

#### Aggregate

Composed of several florets within a common involucre, as in the daisy; or of several carpels formed from one flower, as in the raspberry.

#### Total

Total implies the whole or overall amount of something.
The total number of attendees was fifty.

#### Aggregate

Having the several component parts adherent to each other only to such a degree as to be separable by mechanical means.

#### Total

Total is the end result of an addition of numbers or quantities.
The total of 5, 10, and 15 is 30.

#### Aggregate

United into a common organized mass; - said of certain compound animals.

#### Aggregate

A mass, assemblage, or sum of particulars; as, a house is an aggregate of stone, brick, timber, etc.

#### Aggregate

A mass formed by the union of homogeneous particles; - in distinction from a compound, formed by the union of heterogeneous particles.

#### Aggregate

A sum total of many heterogenous things taken together

The whole amount

#### Aggregate

Amount in the aggregate to

#### Aggregate

Gather in a mass, sum, or whole

#### Aggregate

Gathered or tending to gather into a mass or whole;
Aggregate expenses include expenses of all divisions combined for the entire year
The aggregated amount of indebtedness

#### Aggregate

Formed of separate units in a cluster;
Raspberries are aggregate fruits

#### Aggregate

Aggregate is a whole formed by combining several elements.
The aggregate of students' scores determined the class average.

#### Aggregate

In construction, aggregate is a material formed from a loosely compacted mass of fragments or particles.
The concrete mix contains an aggregate of sand, gravel, and cement.

#### Aggregate

Aggregate can refer to the total sum of goods or services in the economic sector.
The nation’s aggregate income showed a significant increase this year.

#### Aggregate

Aggregate is a collective mass or sum made up of several distinct elements combined together.
The aggregate of different ingredients created a delightful culinary fusion.

## FAQs

#### What does aggregate mean?

Aggregate refers to the whole formed by combining several elements.

#### Is total always numeric?

Yes, total typically represents a numeric value, denoting the sum of individual amounts.

#### Can aggregate be used in construction terminology?

Yes, in construction, aggregate refers to materials like sand and gravel combined with cement to form concrete.

#### Can total refer to an overall amount?

Yes, total can denote the overall or whole amount of something.

#### Can the word aggregate be synonymous with the word total?

While they can sometimes be used interchangeably, aggregate often implies a collection of diverse elements, whereas total refers to a final sum.

#### Does total represent a conclusive value in arithmetic calculations?

Yes, total represents the conclusive value of added numbers or quantities in arithmetic calculations.

#### Can aggregate refer to non-numeric values?

Yes, aggregate can refer to a collection of diverse elements, not limited to numeric values.

#### Is aggregate commonly used in economic contexts?

Yes, aggregate is often used to represent the total sum of goods or services in the economic sector.

#### How is total defined?

Total is defined as the final cumulative sum of individual units or amounts.

#### Does total represent a whole formed by combination?

No, total represents the final sum of individual amounts, not necessarily implying combination of diverse elements.

#### Is aggregate always a large amount or sum?

No, aggregate represents a combined whole, but it is not necessarily large.

#### Can the total imply completeness?

Yes, total can also imply completeness or absoluteness in certain contexts.

#### Can aggregate be a loosely compacted mass of fragments in construction?

Yes, aggregate in construction is a material formed from a loosely compacted mass of fragments or particles.

#### Is understanding the difference between aggregate and total essential in various domains?

Yes, understanding the difference is crucial in mathematics, economics, and statistics as aggregate implies combination, and total implies summation.

#### Does the total strictly represent numeric values?

Yes, total strictly represents a numeric value, indicating the sum of individual amounts.