Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- particle: hole + -on
- sociology term: holo- + -on, from Ancient Greek ὅλος (hólos, “whole”) with the suffix -on suggesting a particle or part.
holon (plural holons)
- (physics) One of three kinds of quasiparticle (the others being the spinon and orbiton) that electrons in solids are able to split into during the process of spin–charge separation, when extremely tightly confined at temperatures close to absolute zero.
- (sociology) Something that is both a part and a whole, e.g.: an individual is autonomous, but also part of a family, which is part of an extended family, which is part of a community, etc.
The sociological sense is used primarily in family therapy and in manufacturing.