• synonyms


See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
  1. material for the framework and shell of the hull of a ship.

Origin of hulling

1400–50; late Middle English (gerund). See hull2, -ing1


  1. the husk, shell, or outer covering of a seed or fruit.
  2. the calyx of certain fruits, as the strawberry.
  3. any covering or envelope.
verb (used with object)
  1. to remove the hull of.
  2. Midland U.S. to shell (peas or beans).

Origin of hull1

before 1000; Middle English; Old English hulu husk, pod; akin to Old English helan to cover, hide, Latin cēlāre to hide, conceal, Greek kalýptein to cover up (see apocalypse). See hall, hell, hole
Related formshull·er, noun


See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. skin, pod, peel, rind, shuck.


  1. the hollow, lowermost portion of a ship, floating partially submerged and supporting the remainder of the ship.
  2. Aeronautics.
    1. the boatlike fuselage of a flying boat on which the plane lands or takes off.
    2. the cigar-shaped arrangement of girders enclosing the gasbag of a rigid dirigible.
verb (used with object)
  1. to pierce (the hull of a ship), especially below the water line.
verb (used without object)
  1. to drift without power or sails.
  1. hull down, (of a ship) sufficiently far away, or below the horizon, that the hull is invisible.
  2. hull up, (of a ship) sufficiently near, or above the horizon, that the hull is visible.

Origin of hull2

1350–1400; Middle English; special use of hull1
Related formshull-less, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hulling

Historical Examples

  • After drying, they are brought to the hulling and winnowing machines.

    All About Coffee

    William H. Ukers

  • When all the rice is gathered and dried, the hulling begins.

    Indian Boyhood

    [AKA Ohiyesa], Charles A. Eastman

  • The hulling machine is a long tube into one end of which the rice is poured.

    How We are Fed

    James Franklin Chamberlain

  • He was engaged in hulling walnuts by driving them through holes in a board.

    A Girl Of The Limberlost

    Gene Stratton Porter

  • Various methods of hulling other than by the corn sheller are in use.

British Dictionary definitions for hulling


  1. the main body of a vessel, tank, flying boat, etc
  2. the shell or pod of peas or beans; the outer covering of any fruit or seed; husk
  3. the persistent calyx at the base of a strawberry, raspberry, or similar fruit
  4. the outer casing of a missile, rocket, etc
  1. to remove the hulls from (fruit or seeds)
  2. (tr) to pierce the hull of (a vessel, tank, etc)
Derived Formshuller, nounhull-less, adjective

Word Origin

Old English hulu; related to Old High German helawa, Old English helan to hide


  1. a city and port in NE England, in Kingston upon Hull unitary authority, East Riding of Yorkshire: fishing, food processing; two universities. Pop: 301 416 (2001). Official name: Kingston upon Hull
  2. a city in SE Canada, in SW Quebec on the River Ottawa: a centre of the timber trade and associated industries. Pop: 66 246 (2001)


  1. Cordell. 1871–1955, US statesman; secretary of state (1933–44). He helped to found the U.N.: Nobel peace prize 1945
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for hulling



"seed covering," from Old English hulu "husk, pod," from Proto-Germanic *hulus "to cover" (cf. Old High German hulla, hulsa; German Hülle, Hülse, Dutch huls). Figurative use by 1831.



"body of a ship," 1550s, perhaps from hull (n.1) on fancied resemblance of ship keels to open peapods (cf. Latin carina "keel of a ship," originally "shell of a nut;" Greek phaselus "light passenger ship, yacht," literally "bean pod;" French coque "hull of a ship; shell of a walnut or egg"). Alternative etymology is from Middle English hoole "ship's keel" (mid-15c.), from the same source as hold (n.).



"to remove the husk of," early 15c., from hull (n.1). Related: Hulled, which can mean both "having a particular kind of hull" and "stripped of the hull."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

hulling in Science


  1. The dry outer covering of a fruit, seed, or nut; a husk.
  2. The enlarged calyx of a fruit, such as a strawberry, that is usually green and easily detached.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.