adjective, hol·low·er, hol·low·est.
- 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.
verb (used with object)
- 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.
verb (used without object)
- 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.
- 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
verb (often foll by out, usually when tr)
- to make or become hollow
- to form (a hole, cavity, etc) or (of a hole, etc) to be formed
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.”
see beat the pants off (hollow).