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hollow

[hol-oh]
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.
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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.
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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.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to become hollow.
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adverb
  1. in a hollow manner: The politician's accusations rang hollow.
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Idioms
  1. beat all hollow, to surpass or outdo completely: His performance beat the others all hollow.Also beat hollow.
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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 for hollow

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hollowly

Historical Examples of hollowly

  • "It was thus I left my loved ones," the Wanderer said hollowly.

    Wanderer of Infinity

    Harl Vincent

  • The actor laughed like a man of small humor, mellowly, but hollowly.

    The Story of a Play

    W. D. Howells

  • The lady who received us was effusive to Aunt Eliza and hollowly gracious to me.

    Dream Days

    Kenneth Grahame

  • "There's no longer an Antamunda," John Andrusco said hollowly.

  • His voice was low, but it rang as hollowly as though he were from another world.

    Out of the Air

    Inez Haynes Irwin


British Dictionary definitions for hollowly

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
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adverb
  1. beat someone hollow British informal to defeat someone thoroughly and convincingly
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noun
  1. a cavity, opening, or space in or within something
  2. a depression or dip in the land
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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
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Derived Formshollowly, adverbhollowness, noun

Word Origin for hollow

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 hollowly

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.

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hollow

v.

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

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hollow

n.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with hollowly

hollow

see beat the pants off (hollow).

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