Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

hollow

[hol-oh]
See more synonyms for hollow 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.
  3. sunken, as the cheeks or eyes.
  4. (of sound) not resonant; dull, muffled, or deep: a hollow voice.
  5. without real or significant worth; meaningless: a hollow victory.
  6. insincere or false: hollow compliments.
  7. hungry; having an empty feeling: I feel absolutely hollow, so let's eat.
Show More
noun
  1. an empty space within anything; a hole, depression, or cavity.
  2. a valley: They took the sheep to graze in the hollow.
  3. Foundry. a concavity connecting two surfaces otherwise intersecting at an obtuse angle.
Show More
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.
Show More
verb (used without object)
  1. to become hollow.
Show More
adverb
  1. in a hollow manner: The politician's accusations rang hollow.
Show More
Idioms
  1. beat all hollow, to surpass or outdo completely: His performance beat the others all hollow.Also beat hollow.
Show More

Origin of hollow

before 900; Middle English holw(e), holow, Old English holh a hollow place; akin to hole
Related formshol·low·ly, adverbhol·low·ness, nounhalf-hol·low, adjectiveun·hol·low, adjectiveun·hol·lowed, adjective

Synonyms

See more synonyms for hollow on Thesaurus.com
5. vain, empty, futile, pointless.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hollowing

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He filled his hollowing cheek with finer things than moaning.

    Adventures in the Arts

    Marsden Hartley

  • Suddenly Queequeg started to his feet, hollowing his hand to his ear.

  • They then began to cross the plain with oxen, hollowing "haw."

  • I then thought of felling a tree and hollowing it out by charring the timber.

    The Little Savage

    Captain Frederick Marryat

  • So at length we come to the hollowing out and to the thicknesses of the belly.

    Violin Making

    Walter H. Mayson


British Dictionary definitions for hollowing

hollow

adjective
  1. having a hole, cavity, or space within; not solid
  2. having a sunken area; concave
  3. recessed or deeply sethollow cheeks
  4. (of sounds) as if resounding in a hollow place
  5. without substance or validity
  6. hungry or empty
  7. insincere; cynical
  8. a hollow leg or hollow legs the capacity to eat or drink a lot without ill effects
Show More
adverb
  1. beat someone hollow British informal to defeat someone thoroughly and convincingly
Show More
noun
  1. a cavity, opening, or space in or within something
  2. a depression or dip in the land
Show More
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
Show More
Derived Formshollowly, adverbhollowness, noun

Word Origin

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

hollow

adj.

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.

Show More

hollow

v.

late 14c., holowen, from hollow (adj.). Related: Hollowed; hollowing.

Show More

hollow

n.

"lowland, valley, basin," 1550s, probably a modern formation from hollow (adj.). Old English had holh (n.) "cave, den; internal cavity."

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with hollowing

hollow

see beat the pants off (hollow).

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