be greater/more than the sum of its parts

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be more/bigger/greater than the sum of its parts

Describes something made up of a large collection of things or people in which the total unit is more important, impressive, successful, etc., than its components are individually. America is certainly bigger than the sum of its parts. The global social networking site, so intrinsically connected to and supported by users, is certainly more than just the sum of its parts.
See also: big, greater, more, of, part, sum

be greater/more than the ˌsum of its ˈparts

be better or more effective as a group than you would think just by looking at the individual members of the group: After their victory, the captain was full of praise for his team, saying that it was a classic case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.
See also: greater, more, of, part, sum
References in periodicals archive ?
It will clearly be greater than the sum of its parts, delivering excellent demographics to advertisers, and building a strong new affiliate body.
We're confident that the combined company will be greater than the sum of its parts, and will be an even stronger factor in the specialty coffee industry," said Alton McEwen, president and chief operating officer of Second Cup's U.