hollow [hol-oh] SynonymsExamplesWord Origin 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.


  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.

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.

verb (used without object)

  1. to become hollow.


  1. in a hollow manner: The politician’s accusations rang hollow.


  1. beat all hollow, to surpass or outdo completely: His performance beat the others all hollow.Also beat hollow.

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, adjectiveSynonyms for hollow 5. vain, empty, futile, pointless. Related Words for hollowing muted, fruitless, worthless, futile, pointless, empty, useless, flimsy, cavern, sunken, depressed, void, vaulted, curved, cleft, notched, arched, dimpled, cupped, excavated Examples from the Web for hollowing Contemporary Examples of hollowing

  • Locals call it the hollowing out of the city into an empty theme park.

    The Big Idea: How Tourism Can Destroy the Places We Love

    Elizabeth Becker

    July 5, 2013

  • Takeovers of foreign companies and government intervention in the markets have spooked investors, hollowing out key industries.

    After the Presidential Election, a Tough Road for Hugo Chávez

    Mac Margolis

    October 9, 2012

  • Historical Examples of hollowing

  • 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.

    Moby Dick; or The Whale

    Herman Melville

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

    Cowboy Songs


  • 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


    1. beat someone hollow British informal to defeat someone thoroughly and convincingly


    1. a cavity, opening, or space in or within something
    2. a depression or dip in the land

    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

    Derived Formshollowly, adverbhollowness, nounWord Origin for hollow C12: from holu, inflected form of Old English holh cave; related to Old Norse holr, German hohl; see hole 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.

    hollow v.

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

    hollow n.

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

    Idioms and Phrases with hollowing hollow

    see beat the pants off (hollow).

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    47 queries 1.644