Here is the sentence that I want to write:

There is more than that to the ________ of revolution

The missing word is what I search for, oversimplifying the sentence would give:

There is more than that to revolution

However I search for a world that describes the entirety of something, its qualities and everything that it relates to as an entity. With the case of a revolution, this would make the sentence say that evolution encompass within itself so many more that what preceding sentences said or implied. The world would describe, with respect to revolution, the plans,the strategies,the ruses, the transpiring events, the good and the bad, the outcomes, the things that can go wrong, the surprises the miracles... I have though about words like nature, essence, art but they don't convey exactly what I want to say.

If you used a method to find the world, e.g a website, using certain keywords to search for it or approach to finding it please share it aswell.

  • My inclination was to say essence. But essence refers to the essentials not to the entirety, which latter word would not sound idiomatic. You could say something like: there is more than that to the entirety of what is meant by revolution.
    – WS2
    Jul 3, 2015 at 9:17

9 Answers 9


Essence may convey the idea of the most intrinsic and important aspects and qualities:

  • The intrinsic or indispensable quality or qualities that serve to characterize or identify something: The essence of democracy is the freedom to choose.

  • The most important part or aspect of something: The essence of her argument is that the policy is wrongheaded.

( AHD)

I think nature may also fit in the context:

  • The set of inherent characteristics or properties that distinguish something: trying to determine the nature of a newly discovered phenomenon. (AHD)

There is more than that to the meaning of revolution.

the thing or idea that a sound, word, sign, etc. represents (Oxford)


The compound sum total sounds nicely ponderous. Arguably not a 'word', but you do go on to ask for a 'world'. But I'd rephrase.

But revolution cannot adequately be described in a few brief sentences.

  • nicely ponderous? sounds like an ambivalent suggestion to me.
    – user405662
    Dec 16, 2020 at 5:44
  • 1
    Yes, I can't see myself ever using the term sum total. But 'nice' with senses satisfactorysubtle/precise and 'ponderous' senses substantive/weightycumbersome/overblown. Dec 16, 2020 at 11:40

'Substance' could fit the bill here in its sense 16.a as defined in the OED:

16.a. The subject or matter addressed in a study, discourse, written work, etc.; the subject matter, theme.

So your sentence would become:

There is more than that to the substance of [a] revolution.

Alternatively, you may consider rephrasing the sentence to something more commonly used, e.g.

A revolution should be considered as more than the sum of its parts.


I suggest concept:

  1. An abstract idea:
    structuralism is a difficult concept
    the concept of justice

  2. A plan or intention:
    the centre has kept firmly to its original concept

(Online Oxford dictionaries)



The whole amount.


So you could say:

"There is more than that to the totality of revolution."

That would also make for a nice piece of alliteration.


'the world of revolution', where world (noun) is defined as:

all that relates to a particular sphere of activity ODO

'the news shocked the football world'

The OP's sentence could be written as:

'There is more than that to the world of revolution.'

A suggested rephrasing of the sentence is:

'The world of revolution encompasses more than that.'

The following quote is sourced from page 5 of a memorandum by Marxist writer, Clara Zetkin, detailing her discussion with Comrade Lenin on the 'Women's Question'.

Lenin says:

'And so I repeat, no weakening, no waste, no destruction of forces. Self-control, self-discipline is not slavery, not even in love. But forgive me, Clara, I have wandered far from the starting point of our conversation. Why didn't you call me to order. My tongue has run away with me. I am deeply concerned about the future of our youth. It is a part of the revolution. And if harmful tendencies are appearing, creeping over from bourgeois society into the world of revolution - as the roots of many weeds spread - it is better to combat them early. Such questions are part of the women question.'


There is more than that to the phenomenon of revolution

You want to talk about not particular revolutions, but everything that pertains to revolution. In the introduction to the article on phenomenology at the Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy:

... phenomenology is the study of “phenomena”: appearances of things, or things as they appear in our experience, or the ways we experience things, thus the meanings things have in our experience.

If we take this to mean -- as it is often taken -- something as we (may) experience it before any particular interpretation, the phenomenon of something would be the widest possible interpretation of it.


Scope of revolution fits well like in :

In the 15th century the time was approaching when the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope was to widen the scope of geographical enterprise.

and so does girth but that veers on the poetic.

  • Please edit you answer to expand on why your suggestions are applicable. Jul 3, 2015 at 15:46

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