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

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on October 20, 2023
Aggregate is a collective sum or mass of various elements, while Total is the final sum of individual units or numbers.

## Key Differences

Nature & Usage: Aggregate is a term that implies a collective sum or grouping, often of diverse items or components. It emphasizes the combination of different elements into a single entity. Conversely, Total signifies the final sum derived from the addition of individual units or numbers. The word tends to underscore a concluding figure in a calculation.
Contextual Application: When we consider data or statistics, Aggregate is often used to describe data collected from different sources combined to form a whole, as in "aggregate data." Meanwhile, Total generally refers to the final figure that results from adding up individual data points, as in "total revenue."
In Mathematics: In the realm of mathematics, Aggregate might be used more loosely to describe the accumulation or gathering of numbers or quantities. Total, on the other hand, is definitively used to describe the result of arithmetic addition.
Connotations: The word Aggregate often carries with it the idea of accumulation, gathering, or coming together of different entities. In contrast, Total conveys a sense of finality, the end result after a calculation or summation process.
Scope and Precision: Aggregate may sometimes indicate a more general or broad summation, possibly including various components or sources. Total typically provides a precise and conclusive number or amount after the addition of individual figures.

## Comparison Chart

### Definition

Collective sum/grouping of diverse items.
Final sum of individual units/numbers.

### Contextual Application

Often used with data from various sources.
Refers to a conclusive figure.

### Mathematical Usage

Loose term for accumulation.

### Connotations

Accumulation, gathering.
Finality, end result.

### Scope & Precision

Precise, conclusive amount.

## Compare with Definitions

#### Aggregate

A material or structure formed from a loosely compacted mass of fragments or particles.
Concrete is made using an aggregate of sand, cement, and gravel.

#### Total

The whole amount of something.
The total number of attendees was 300.

#### Aggregate

A collection of items that are gathered together.
The museum displayed an aggregate of artifacts from different eras.

#### Total

The final sum.
The total for our groceries came to \$100.

#### Aggregate

A whole formed by combining several separate elements
The council was an aggregate of three regional assemblies

#### Total

Comprising the whole number or amount
A total cost of £4,000

#### Aggregate

A material or structure formed from a mass of fragments or particles loosely compacted together
The specimen is an aggregate of rock and mineral fragments

#### Total

Complete; absolute
A total stranger
It is a matter of total indifference to me

#### Aggregate

Formed or calculated by the combination of several separate elements; total
The aggregate amount of grants made

#### Total

The whole number or amount of something
In total, 200 people were interviewed
He scored a total of thirty-three points

#### Aggregate

Form or group into a class or cluster
Socio-occupational groups aggregate men sharing similar kinds of occupation
The butterflies aggregate in dense groups

#### Total

Amount in number to
They were left with debts totalling £6,260

#### Aggregate

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

#### Total

Damage (something, typically a vehicle) beyond repair; wreck
He almost totalled the car

#### 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

Amounting to the full or entire sum.
The total cost of the items was \$50.

#### 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

Absolute or complete.
The project was a total success.

#### Aggregate

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

#### Total

To find the full amount or number of.
Can you total the expenses for the trip?

#### 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

A whole formed by combining several elements.
The aggregate of students from all the schools was impressive.

#### Aggregate

The total score of a player or team in a series of sports events.
His aggregate score over the season broke records.

#### Aggregate

Gathered into or considered as a whole.
The aggregate sales of the company surpassed expectations.

## Common Curiosities

#### What does aggregate mean?

Aggregate refers to a collective sum or grouping, often of diverse items combined into one.

#### Is total always numeric?

Typically, yes. Total refers to a sum or whole amount.

#### What does total signify?

Total signifies the final sum derived from the addition of individual units or numbers.

#### Can aggregate be used in sports?

Yes, for example, a player's aggregate score over a series of events.

#### Can aggregate refer to non-numerical things?

Yes, aggregate can refer to a collection of diverse items, not just numbers.

#### When is total typically used?

Total is often used to indicate the final sum or conclusion in calculations.

#### Does aggregate always mean a sum of diverse elements?

Mostly, but it can also mean a general collection or gathering.

#### Does total always refer to a mathematical sum?

While commonly used in math, total can also indicate the whole amount of something.

#### Can aggregate be a noun and a verb?

Yes, e.g., "an aggregate of data" and "to aggregate information."

#### Can total be a noun, verb, and adjective?

Yes, e.g., "the total amount," "to total the bills," and "total success."

#### How is aggregate used in construction?

It refers to materials like sand or gravel used in making concrete.

#### Is aggregate always a large number?

Not necessarily. It simply refers to a combined sum or mass.

#### What is the opposite of total?

In some contexts, "partial" can be its opposite.

#### Is total synonymous with absolute?

In some contexts, yes. "Total success" can mean "absolute success."

#### Does aggregate always indicate precision?

No, it can sometimes represent a general or broad summation.

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