Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of hollow
Meaning of hollow by Wiktionary Dictionary



    • ( UK ) IPA: /ˈhɒl.əʊ/
    • ( US ) IPA: /ˈhɑ.loʊ/
    • Rhymes: -ɒləʊ

    Etymology 1

    Middle English holw, holh, from Old English hol ( “hollow” ), from Proto-Germanic *hulaz ( compare Dutch hol, German hohl, Danish hul ), from Proto-Indo-European *k̑óuhₓ-ilo ( compare Albanian thellë ( “deep” ), Ancient Greek κοῖλος ( koĩlos, “hollow” )', Avestan ( sūra ), Sanskrit ( kulyā, “brook, ditch” ) ), from *k̑óuhₓ- 'cavity'. More at cave .


    hollow ( comparative hollower, superlative hollowest )

    1. ( of something solid ) Having an empty space or cavity inside .
    2. ( of a sound ) Distant, eerie; echoing, reverberating, as if in a hollow space; dull, muffled; often low-pitched .
      a hollow moan
    3. ( figuratively ) Without substance; having no real or significant worth; meaningless .
      a hollow victory
    4. ( figuratively ) Insincere, devoid of validity; specious .
      a hollow promise
    Derived terms

    Etymology 2

    Middle English holow, earlier holgh, from Old English holh ( “a hollow” )', from hol ( “hollow ( adj. )” ). See above .


    hollow ( plural: hollows )

    1. A small valley between mountains; "he built himself a cabin in a hollow high up in the Rockies"
    2. A sunken area in something solid .
    3. ( US ) A sunken area, the equivalent to a copse in British English .
    4. ( figuratively ) A feeling of emptiness .

Explanation of hollow by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. remove the interior of

    2. hollow out a tree trunk
    3. remove the inner part or the core of

    1. devoid of significance or point

    2. a hollow victory
    3. as if echoing in a hollow space

    4. the hollow sound of footsteps in the empty ballroom
    5. not solid

    6. a hollow wall
      a hollow tree
      hollow cheeks
      his face became gaunter and more hollow with each year
    1. a depression hollowed out of solid matter

    2. a small valley between mountains

    3. he built himself a cabin in a hollow high up in the Appalachians
    4. a cavity or space in something

    5. hunger had caused the hollows in their cheeks

    Definition of hollow by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Hollow a. [OE. holow, holgh, holf, AS. holh a hollow, hole. Cf. Hole.]
      1. Having an empty space or cavity, natural or artificial, within a solid substance; not solid; excavated in the interior; as, “a hollow tree; a hollow sphere.”

      Hollow with boards shalt thou make it. Ex. xxvii. 8.

      2. Depressed; concave; gaunt; sunken.

      With hollow eye and wrinkled brow. Shak.

      3. Reverberated from a cavity, or resembling such a sound; deep; muffled; as, “a hollow roar”. Dryden.

      4. Not sincere or faithful; false; deceitful; not sound; as, “a hollow heart; a hollow friend.” Milton.

      Hollow newel ( Arch. ), an opening in the center of a winding staircase in place of a newel post, the stairs being supported by the wall; an open newel; also, the stringpiece or rail winding around the well of such a staircase. -- Hollow quoin ( Engin. ), a pier of stone or brick made behind the lock gates of a canal, and containing a hollow or recess to receive the ends of the gates. -- Hollow root. ( Bot. ) See Moschatel. -- Hollow square. See Square. -- Hollow ware, hollow vessels; -- a trade name for cast-iron kitchen utensils, earthenware, etc.

      Syn.- Concave; sunken; low; vacant; empty; void; false; faithless; deceitful; treacherous.

    2. Hollow n.
      1. A cavity, natural or artificial; an unfilled space within anything; a hole, a cavern; an excavation; as the hollow of the hand or of a tree.

      2. A low spot surrounded by elevations; a depressed part of a surface; a concavity; a channel.

      Forests grew

      Upon the barren hollows. Prior.

      I hate the dreadful hollow behind the little wood. Tennyson.

    3. Hollow, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Hollowed ; p. pr. & vb. n. Hollowing.] To make hollow, as by digging, cutting, or engraving; to excavate. “Trees rudely hollowed.” Dryden.

    4. Hollow, adv. Wholly; completely; utterly; -- chiefly after the verb to beat, and often with all; as, “this story beats the other all hollow”. See All, adv. [Colloq.]

      The more civilized so-called Caucasian races have beaten the Turks hollow in the struggle for existence. Darwin.

    5. Hollow interj. [See Hollo.] Hollo.

    6. Hollow v. i. To shout; to hollo.

      Whisperings and hollowings are alike to a deaf ear. Fuller.

    7. Hollow, v. t. To urge or call by shouting.

      He has hollowed the hounds. Sir W. Scott.