- an opening through something; gap; aperture: a hole in the roof; a hole in my sock.
- a hollow place in a solid body or mass; a cavity: a hole in the ground.
- the excavated habitation of an animal; burrow.
- a small, dingy, or shabby place: I couldn't live in a hole like that.
- a place of solitary confinement; dungeon.
- an embarrassing position or predicament: to find oneself in a hole.
- a cove or small harbor.
- a fault or flaw: They found serious holes in his reasoning.
- a deep, still place in a stream: a swimming hole.
- a small cavity, into which a marble, ball, or the like is to be played.
- a score made by so playing.
- the circular opening in a green into which the ball is to be played.
- a part of a golf course from a tee to the hole corresponding to it, including fairway, rough, and hazards.
- the number of strokes taken to hit the ball from a tee into the hole corresponding to it.
- Informal. opening; slot: The radio program was scheduled for the p.m. hole. We need an experienced person to fill a hole in our accounting department.
- Metalworking. (in wire drawing) one reduction of a section.
- Electronics. a mobile vacancy in the electronic structure of a semiconductor that acts as a positive charge carrier and has equivalent mass.
- Aeronautics. an air pocket that causes a plane or other aircraft to drop suddenly.
- to make a hole or holes in.
- to put or drive into a hole.
- Golf. to hit the ball into (a hole).
- to bore (a tunnel, passage, etc.).
- to make a hole or holes.
- hole out, Golf. to strike the ball into a hole: He holed out in five, one over par.
- hole up,
- to go into a hole; retire for the winter, as a hibernating animal.
- to hide, as from pursuers, the police, etc.: The police think the bank robbers are holed up in Chicago.
- burn a hole in one's pocket, to urge one to spend money quickly: His inheritance was burning a hole in his pocket.
- hole in the wall, a small or confining place, especially one that is dingy, shabby, or out-of-the-way: Their first shop was a real hole in the wall.
- in a/the hole,
- in debt; in straitened circumstances: After Christmas I am always in the hole for at least a month.
- Baseball, Softball.pitching or batting with the count of balls or balls and strikes to one's disadvantage, especially batting with a count of two strikes and one ball or none.
- Stud Poker.being the card or one of the cards dealt face down in the first round: a king in the hole.
- make a hole in, to take a large part of: A large bill from the dentist made a hole in her savings.
- pick a hole/holes in, to find a fault or flaw in: As soon as I presented my argument, he began to pick holes in it.Also poke a hole/holes in.
Origin of hole
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- an area hollowed out in a solid
- an opening made in or through something
- an animal's hiding place or burrow
- informal an unattractive place, such as a town or a dwelling
- informal a cell or dungeon
- US informal a small anchorage
- a fault (esp in the phrase pick holes in)
- slang a difficult and embarrassing situation
- the cavity in various games into which the ball must be thrust
- (on a golf course)
- the cup on each of the greens
- each of the divisions of a course (usually 18) represented by the distance between the tee and a green
- the score made in striking the ball from the tee into the hole
- a vacancy in a nearly full band of quantum states of electrons in a semiconductor or an insulator. Under the action of an electric field holes behave as carriers of positive charge
- (as modifier)hole current
- a vacancy in the nearly full continuum of quantum states of negative energy of fermions. A hole appears as the antiparticle of the fermion
- in holes so worn as to be full of holeshis socks were in holes
- in the hole mainly US
- in debt
- (of a card, the hole card, in stud poker) dealt face down in the first round
- make a hole in to consume or use a great amount of (food, drink, money, etc)to make a hole in a bottle of brandy
- to make a hole or holes in (something)
- (when intr, often foll by out) golf to hit (the ball) into the hole
Word Origin and History for in a hole
Old English hol "orifice, hollow place, cave, perforation," from Proto-Germanic *hul (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Old High German hol, Middle Dutch hool, Old Norse holr, German hohl "hollow," Gothic us-hulon "to hollow out"), from PIE root *kel- (see cell).
As a contemptuous word for "small dingy lodging or abode" it is attested from 1610s. Meaning "a fix, scrape, mess" is from 1760. Obscene slang use for "vulva" is implied from mid-14c. Hole in the wall "small and unpretentious place" is from 1822; to hole up first recorded 1875. To need (something) like a hole in the head, applied to something useless or detrimental, first recorded 1944 in entertainment publications, probably a translation of a Yiddish expression, cf. ich darf es vi a loch in kop.
"to make a hole," Old English holian "to hollow out, scoop out" (see hole (n.)). Related: Holed; holing.
- A gap, usually the valence band of an insulator or semiconductor, that would normally be filled with one electron. If an electron accelerated by a voltage moves into a gap, it leaves a gap behind it, and in this way the hole itself appears to move through the substance. Even though holes are in fact the absence of a negatively charged particle (an electron), they can be treated theoretically as positively charged particles, whose motion gives rise to electric current.
Idioms and Phrases with in a hole
in a hole
see in a bind.