- 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 hollowness
But the closing of one school after another exposes the hollowness of those promises.The West Made Lots of Promises to Afghan Girls, Now It’s Breaking Them
October 20, 2014
My voice sounded cheerful and supportive, properly concealing the hollowness I felt.My Attack of Model Jealousy
February 9, 2014
In his voluble, guns-blazing manner, Adrover made the hollowness of New York Fashion Week, which ends Thursday, apparent.Designing for the One Percent at New York Fashion Week
February 14, 2012
We know too much now about the hollowness of institutions and the frailty of their leaders.The Naked Truth
February 18, 2009
Laura smiled as she glanced at his face, but it was not its hollowness she was thinking of.The Greater Power
How can a man of your age talk of being melancholy, or of the hollowness of existence?The Upper Berth
Francis Marion Crawford
You are Canadian—in you I can banish the coldness, hollowness, and degeneracy of Europe.The False Chevalier
William Douw Lighthall
There were no tears in his eyes, but a feeling of hollowness about his heart, and a great pain.Riders of the Silences
They gave off a muffled clink of hollowness when he tapped them.The Devil's Asteroid
Manly Wade Wellman
- 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 hollowness
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."