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

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Updated on September 21, 2023
"Total" refers to the complete amount or sum of items, while "Overall" pertains to the general or comprehensive nature of something.

## Key Differences

Total specifically refers to the complete sum or amount of a collection of things, figures, or elements. In contrast, Overall indicates a broad, general sense, encompassing everything in consideration.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 21, 2023
In numerical contexts, Total would be the sum of all figures or quantities. On the other hand, Overall might suggest the general trend or result without delving into specifics.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 21, 2023
An individual might use Total to refer to the sum of expenses in a month. Simultaneously, they might use Overall to describe the general financial health or situation during that month.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 21, 2023
One can think of Total as a precise end result of addition, especially in quantitative settings. Conversely, Overall can offer a holistic perspective or general impression of a situation, event, or set of data.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 21, 2023
While both words imply comprehensiveness, Total often emphasizes completeness or entirety in count or measure, whereas Overall leans more towards a summary or general state of things.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 21, 2023

## Comparison Chart

### Definition

Complete amount or sum
General or comprehensive nature
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### Part of Speech

Noun (can also be a verb/adjective)
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### Usage Context

Quantitative settings
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### Grammatical Function

Describes completeness in count/measure
Describes a general state/summary
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Sep 21, 2023

### Associated Ideas

Sum, entirety
Holistic, all-encompassing
Harlon Moss
Sep 21, 2023

## Total and Overall Definitions

#### Total

The complete amount or sum.
The Total cost of the project was \$10,000.
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Sep 21, 2023

#### Overall

Covering or affecting everything.
They considered the Overall benefits and drawbacks.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 21, 2023

#### Total

Absolute or complete.
It was a Total disaster.
Janet White
Sep 21, 2023

#### Overall

Encompassing all parts or aspects.
The Overall impact of the policy was significant.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 21, 2023

#### Total

To calculate the full amount.
We need to Total the expenses for the month.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 21, 2023

#### Overall

In a comprehensive sense.
The movie was good Overall.
Janet White
Sep 21, 2023

#### Total

Entire or comprehensive.
They faced Total defeat.
Janet White
Sep 21, 2023

#### Overall

From one end to the other
The overall length of the house.
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Oct 10, 2022

#### Total

The Total of 5 and 7 is 12.
Sara Rehman
Sep 21, 2023

#### Overall

Including everything; comprehensive
The overall costs of medical care.
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Oct 10, 2022

#### Total

An amount obtained by addition; a sum.
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#### Overall

Regarded as a whole; general
My overall impression was favorable.
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#### Total

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

On the whole; generally
Enjoyed the performance overall.
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#### Total

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

Chiefly British A loose-fitting protective outer garment; a smock.
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#### Total

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

Overalls Loose-fitting pants, usually of strong fabric, with a bib front and shoulder straps, often worn over regular clothing as protection from dirt.
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#### Total

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

All-encompassing, all around.
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#### Total

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

Generally; with everything considered.
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#### Total

To wreck completely; demolish
The driver survived the crash but totaled the car.
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Oct 10, 2022

#### Overall

(British) A garment worn over other clothing to protect it; a coverall or boiler suit. A garment, for manual labor or for casual wear, often made of a single piece of fabric, with long legs and a bib upper, supported from the shoulders with straps, and having several large pockets and loops for carrying tools.
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Oct 10, 2022

#### Total

It totals to \$25.
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Oct 10, 2022

#### Overall

A garment, worn for manual labor, with an integral covering extending to the chest, supported by straps.
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Oct 10, 2022

#### Total

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

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

Work clothing consisting of denim trousers (usually with a bib and shoulder straps)
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#### 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.
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#### Overall

A loose protective coverall or smock worn over ordinary clothing for dirty work
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#### Total

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

Involving only main features;
The overall pattern of his life
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#### 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.
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Oct 10, 2022

#### Overall

Including everything;
The overall cost
The total amount owed
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Oct 10, 2022

#### Total

(transitive) To add up; to calculate the sum of.
When we totalled the takings, we always got a different figure.
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Oct 10, 2022

#### Overall

Pertaining to the whole extent or scope.
Her Overall performance was excellent.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 21, 2023

#### Total

To equal a total of; to amount to.
That totals seven times so far.
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Oct 10, 2022

#### Overall

General or in total.
Overall, the feedback was positive.
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Sep 21, 2023

#### Total

To demolish; to wreck completely. (from total loss)
Honey, I’m OK, but I’ve totaled the car.
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Oct 10, 2022

#### Total

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Including everything;
The overall cost
The total amount owed
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#### Total

Without conditions or limitations;
A total ban
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#### Total

Complete in extent or degree and in every particular;
A full game
A total eclipse
A total disaster
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 10, 2022

## FAQs

#### Is "Total" more specific than "Overall"?

Generally, yes. "Total" often provides a specific sum or amount.
Sara Rehman
Sep 21, 2023

#### Does "Overall" provide a detailed view?

Not typically; "Overall" suggests a general or broad perspective.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 21, 2023

#### Can "Total" be used as a verb?

Yes, like in "totaling the expenses."
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 21, 2023

#### Does "Overall" mean the same as "in general"?

Yes, in many contexts, they can be synonymous.
Janet White
Sep 21, 2023

#### When might one use "Overall" in a sentence?

When offering a summary or general impression of a situation or set of data.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 21, 2023

#### Is "Total" always about numbers?

Mostly, but it can also indicate completeness in non-quantitative contexts.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 21, 2023

#### Can "Overall" describe a general trend?

Yes, it often indicates a general direction or trend without specific details.
Sara Rehman
Sep 21, 2023

#### Is the "total amount" redundant?

It can be, as "total" already suggests a complete amount.
Janet White
Sep 21, 2023

#### Can "Total" be an absolute term?

Yes, like in "total disaster," it indicates absolute or complete nature.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 21, 2023

#### How does "Overall" differ from "on the whole"?

They're similar, but "Overall" is often more concise. Both suggest a general perspective.
Harlon Moss
Sep 21, 2023

#### Can "Total" suggest finality?

Yes, as it indicates the end result or complete sum.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 21, 2023

Not necessarily. While it provides a broad view, it doesn't always suggest an average.
Harlon Moss
Sep 21, 2023

#### Why do receipts have a "total" at the bottom?

It provides the complete sum of all listed costs.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 21, 2023

#### How do "Overall" and "entirely" differ?

"Overall" suggests a broad summary, while "entirely" indicates completeness or fullness.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 21, 2023

#### Do "Overall" and "total" overlap in meaning?

They can in some contexts, but they often have distinct nuances.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 21, 2023
Written by
Sawaira 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.
Edited by
Sumera 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.