[ hol-oh ]
See synonyms for: hollowhollowedhollowness on Thesaurus.com

adjective,hol·low·er, hol·low·est.
  1. having a space or cavity inside; not solid; empty: a hollow sphere.

  2. having a depression or concavity: a hollow surface.

  1. sunken, as the cheeks or eyes.

  2. (of sound) not resonant; dull, muffled, or deep: a hollow voice.

  3. without real or significant worth; meaningless: a hollow victory.

  4. insincere or false: hollow compliments.

  5. hungry; having an empty feeling: I feel absolutely hollow, so let's eat.

  1. an empty space within anything; a hole, depression, or cavity.

  2. a valley: They took the sheep to graze in the hollow.

  1. Foundry. a concavity connecting two surfaces otherwise intersecting at an obtuse angle.

verb (used with object)
  1. to make hollow (often followed by out): to hollow out a log.

  2. to form by making something hollow (often followed by out): to hollow a place in the sand;boats hollowed out of logs.

verb (used without object)
  1. to become hollow.

  1. in a hollow manner: The politician's accusations rang hollow.

Idioms about hollow

  1. beat all hollow, to surpass or outdo completely: His performance beat the others all hollow.: Also beat hollow.

Origin of hollow

First recorded before 900; Middle English holow, holw(e), Old English holh “a hollow place”; akin to hole

Other words for hollow

Other words from hollow

  • hol·low·ly, adverb
  • hol·low·ness, noun
  • half-hollow, adjective
  • un·hol·low, adjective
  • un·hol·lowed, adjective

Words Nearby hollow

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use hollow in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for hollow


/ (ˈhɒləʊ) /

  1. having a hole, cavity, or space within; not solid

  2. having a sunken area; concave

  1. recessed or deeply set: hollow cheeks

  2. (of sounds) as if resounding in a hollow place

  3. without substance or validity

  4. hungry or empty

  5. insincere; cynical

  6. a hollow leg or hollow legs the capacity to eat or drink a lot without ill effects

  1. beat someone hollow British informal to defeat someone thoroughly and convincingly

  1. a cavity, opening, or space in or within something

  2. a depression or dip in the land

verb(often foll by out, usually when tr)
  1. to make or become hollow

  2. to form (a hole, cavity, etc) or (of a hole, etc) to be formed

Origin of hollow

C12: from holu, inflected form of Old English holh cave; related to Old Norse holr, German hohl; see hole

Derived forms of hollow

  • hollowly, adverb
  • hollowness, noun

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with hollow


see beat the pants off (hollow).

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.