- having a space or cavity inside; not solid; empty: a hollow sphere.
- having a depression or concavity: a hollow surface.
- sunken, as the cheeks or eyes.
- (of sound) not resonant; dull, muffled, or deep: a hollow voice.
- without real or significant worth; meaningless: a hollow victory.
- insincere or false: hollow compliments.
- hungry; having an empty feeling: I feel absolutely hollow, so let's eat.
- an empty space within anything; a hole, depression, or cavity.
- a valley: They took the sheep to graze in the hollow.
- Foundry. a concavity connecting two surfaces otherwise intersecting at an obtuse angle.
- to make hollow (often followed by out): to hollow out a log.
- to form by making something hollow (often followed by out): to hollow a place in the sand; boats hollowed out of logs.
- to become hollow.
- in a hollow manner: The politician's accusations rang hollow.
- beat all hollow, to surpass or outdo completely: His performance beat the others all hollow.Also beat hollow.
Origin of hollow
SynonymsSee more synonyms for hollow on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for hollow
The young man weaves through clusters of bamboo and cuts a diagonal slash into a tree, positioning a hollow log at the end.The Congo's Forgotten Colonial Getaway
December 18, 2014
He pressed a hollow shell casing into my palm and leaned towards my ear, “I PICKED IT UP FROM THE BEDROOM!”I Shot Bin Laden
November 16, 2014
Head of State was prescient, but hollow; I Think I Love My Wife was bland; and the documentary Good Hair was fascinating fun.Oscar Season Kicks Off in Toronto: Channing Tatum, Kristen Stewart, and More Court Awards Glory
September 14, 2014
The boy stops making noise, and there's a hollow absence of sound for few moments before the Iraqi soldiers start shouting again.Whatever You Do Someone Will Die. A Short Story About Impossible Choices in Iraq
Nathan Bradley Bethea
August 31, 2014
In the end, Hollow pulled out a withering attack that outpaced Budden both in speed and viciousness.America’s Poets: Battle Rap Gets Real
July 15, 2014
"He had a gun shoved into the hollow of his throat," said Andy.Way of the Lawless
But see the church in the hollow, and the folk who cluster in the churchyard!The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
Even the fertile vale, in the hollow of which it lay, had ceased to have existence.The Miraculous Pitcher
Bein' born on Hollow eve,' says he, 'I couldn't be nothin' else.Quaint Courtships
It forms a speaking telegraph without the necessity of any hollow tube.'Heroes of the Telegraph
- having a hole, cavity, or space within; not solid
- having a sunken area; concave
- recessed or deeply sethollow cheeks
- (of sounds) as if resounding in a hollow place
- without substance or validity
- hungry or empty
- insincere; cynical
- a hollow leg or hollow legs the capacity to eat or drink a lot without ill effects
- beat someone hollow British informal to defeat someone thoroughly and convincingly
- a cavity, opening, or space in or within something
- a depression or dip in the land
- to make or become hollow
- to form (a hole, cavity, etc) or (of a hole, etc) to be formed
Word Origin and History for hollow
c.1200, from Old English holh (n.) "hollow place, hole," from Proto-Germanic *hul-, from PIE *kel- "to cover, conceal" (see cell). The figurative sense of "insincere" is attested from 1520s. Related: Hollowly; hollowness. To carry it hollow "take it completely" is first recorded 1660s, of unknown origin or connection.
late 14c., holowen, from hollow (adj.). Related: Hollowed; hollowing.
"lowland, valley, basin," 1550s, probably a modern formation from hollow (adj.). Old English had holh (n.) "cave, den; internal cavity."
Idioms and Phrases with hollow
see beat the pants off (hollow).