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hollow

[hol-oh] /ˈhɒl oʊ/
adjective, hollower, hollowest.
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.
noun
8.
an empty space within anything; a hole, depression, or cavity.
9.
a valley:
They took the sheep to graze in the hollow.
10.
Foundry. a concavity connecting two surfaces otherwise intersecting at an obtuse angle.
verb (used with object)
11.
to make hollow (often followed by out):
to hollow out a log.
12.
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)
13.
to become hollow.
adverb
14.
in a hollow manner:
The politician's accusations rang hollow.
Idioms
15.
beat all hollow, to surpass or outdo completely:
His performance beat the others all hollow.
Also, beat hollow.
Origin of hollow
900
before 900; Middle English holw(e), holow, Old English holh a hollow place; akin to hole
Related forms
hollowly, adverb
hollowness, noun
half-hollow, adjective
unhollow, adjective
unhollowed, adjective
Synonyms
5. vain, empty, futile, pointless.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for hollowness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Ibsen is never happier, and never is his scalpel more skilful, than when he is laying bare the hollowness of shams like these.

    Inquiries and Opinions Brander Matthews
  • Laura smiled as she glanced at his face, but it was not its hollowness she was thinking of.

    The Greater Power Harold Bindloss
  • He was a hollow thing, he knew, but a buckram pretence prevented the world from piercing to his hollowness.

    The House with the Green Shutters George Douglas Brown
  • They gave off a muffled clink of hollowness when he tapped them.

    The Devil's Asteroid Manly Wade Wellman
  • It shows the hollowness of Paganism at this time that his conduct was met either with ridicule or with condemnation.

    Sermons J. B. Lightfoot
  • Then she rapped the floor and walls, and could discover no indications of hollowness.

    Scottish Ghost Stories Elliott O'Donnell
British Dictionary definitions for hollowness

hollow

/ˈhɒləʊ/
adjective
1.
having a hole, cavity, or space within; not solid
2.
having a sunken area; concave
3.
recessed or deeply set: hollow 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, hollow legs, the capacity to eat or drink a lot without ill effects
adverb
9.
(Brit, informal) beat someone hollow, to defeat someone thoroughly and convincingly
noun
10.
a cavity, opening, or space in or within something
11.
a depression or dip in the land
verb often foll by out, usually when tr
12.
to make or become hollow
13.
to form (a hole, cavity, etc) or (of a hole, etc) to be formed
Derived Forms
hollowly, adverb
hollowness, noun
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for hollowness

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.

v.

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

n.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for hollowness

hollow

Related Terms

beat all hollow

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with hollowness
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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16
18
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