[ huhl ]
/ hʌl /


the hollow, lowermost portion of a ship, floating partially submerged and supporting the remainder of the ship.
  1. the boatlike fuselage of a flying boat on which the plane lands or takes off.
  2. the cigar-shaped arrangement of girders enclosing the gasbag of a rigid dirigible.

verb (used with object)

to pierce (the hull of a ship), especially below the water line.

verb (used without object)

to drift without power or sails.

Idioms for hull

    hull down, (of a ship) sufficiently far away, or below the horizon, that the hull is invisible.
    hull up, (of a ship) sufficiently near, or above the horizon, that the hull is visible.

Origin of hull

1350–1400; Middle English; special use of hull1


hull-less, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for hull down (1 of 4)

hull down


(of a ship) having its hull concealed by the horizon
(of a tank) having only its turret visible

British Dictionary definitions for hull down (2 of 4)

/ (hʌl) /


the main body of a vessel, tank, flying boat, etc
the shell or pod of peas or beans; the outer covering of any fruit or seed; husk
the persistent calyx at the base of a strawberry, raspberry, or similar fruit
the outer casing of a missile, rocket, etc


to remove the hulls from (fruit or seeds)
(tr) to pierce the hull of (a vessel, tank, etc)

Derived forms of hull

huller, nounhull-less, adjective

Word Origin for hull

Old English hulu; related to Old High German helawa, Old English helan to hide

British Dictionary definitions for hull down (3 of 4)

/ (hʌl) /


a city and port in NE England, in Kingston upon Hull unitary authority, East Riding of Yorkshire: fishing, food processing; two universities. Pop: 301 416 (2001). Official name: Kingston upon Hull
a city in SE Canada, in SW Quebec on the River Ottawa: a centre of the timber trade and associated industries. Pop: 66 246 (2001)

British Dictionary definitions for hull down (4 of 4)

/ (hʌl) /


Cordell. 1871–1955, US statesman; secretary of state (1933–44). He helped to found the U.N.: Nobel peace prize 1945
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

Science definitions for hull down

[ hŭl ]

The dry outer covering of a fruit, seed, or nut; a husk.
The enlarged calyx of a fruit, such as a strawberry, that is usually green and easily detached.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.