Complete vs. Total: What's the Difference?
Complete implies that something is whole, finished, or fully accomplished, while total refers to the sum or entirety of something, often in a numerical context.
Complete and total both suggest wholeness but in different contexts. Complete is often used to describe something that is finished or fully made, indicating that nothing is missing. Total, on the other hand, refers to the sum of parts or the entire amount of something, especially quantitatively.
In usage, complete is employed to denote the state of completion or the process of making something whole. For instance, a project is complete when all its parts are finished. Total is used to describe the aggregate amount, like the total cost of items purchased.
Complete can also imply thoroughness or perfection in a non-quantitative sense. A complete understanding means fully grasping a concept. Total, however, is more numerical or quantitative, as in the total number of students in a class.
The word complete is versatile, used in various contexts, from tasks and processes to personal feelings. Total, in contrast, is often associated with figures, such as total earnings or total distance.
Complete can be an adjective, verb, or noun (as in a complete set), while total is primarily an adjective or noun (the total, to total up).
State of being whole or finished
Sum or entirety of something
Completion, thoroughness, perfection
Quantitative, numerical sum
Completing a task, complete satisfaction
Total cost, total number
Function in a Sentence
Describes the state of something
Describes the sum or aggregate
Adjective, verb, noun
Complete and Total Definitions
Finished or fully accomplished.
She completed her degree last year.
Constituting the whole amount.
The total cost was $200.
Thorough or perfect.
His understanding of the topic is complete.
Entire or absolute.
They faced total defeat.
To make whole or perfect.
He completed the report yesterday.
Complete in extent or degree.
The project received total support.
Having all necessary parts.
The puzzle is complete.
Sum of parts.
The total of 5 and 3 is 8.
Total or absolute.
They enjoyed complete silence.
To calculate the sum of.
She totalled the expenses for the month.
Having all necessary or normal parts, components, or steps; entire
A complete medical history.
A complete set of dishes.
An amount obtained by addition; a sum.
(Botany) Having all principal parts, namely, the sepals, petals, stamens, and pistil or pistils. Used of a flower.
The whole amount of something; the entirety
The storm damaged the total of the housing units.
Can complete describe a feeling?
Yes, like complete satisfaction or happiness.
Is total always about numbers?
Mostly, but it can also imply totality in a general sense.
How is total used in finance?
It refers to the total amount of money, like total income.
Can complete mean thorough?
Yes, as in a complete analysis or review.
What does complete imply in a task?
Complete means the task is fully finished.
How is total used in mathematics?
Total refers to the sum of numbers or quantities.
Does complete apply to physical objects?
Yes, like a complete set of books.
Does total imply finality?
Often, like the total score or total result.
Is total used in insurance?
Yes, like in total loss or total coverage.
Can total be a verb?
Yes, as in totaling up expenses.
Can complete refer to emotional states?
Yes, like feeling completely overwhelmed.
Is complete used in education?
Yes, like completing a course or degree.
Can complete refer to relationships?
Yes, like a complete partnership.
Is complete used in art?
Yes, like a complete collection or work.
Can total refer to the extent of something?
Yes, as in total darkness or total coverage.
Is complete used in sports?
Yes, like completing a race or game.
How is total used in retail?
It refers to the total price or cost.
Can total describe an outcome?
Yes, like the total effect or impact.
Does complete have a temporal aspect?
It can, like completing something in time.
Does total have a scientific use?
Yes, in calculating total measurements.
Written bySumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited bySawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.