from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A hollowed place in something solid; a cavity or pit.
  • noun An opening or perforation.
  • noun Sports An opening in a defensive formation, such as the area of a baseball infield between two adjacent fielders.
  • noun A fault or flaw.
  • noun A deep place in a body of water.
  • noun An animal's hollowed-out habitation, such as a burrow.
  • noun An ugly, squalid, or depressing dwelling.
  • noun A deep or isolated place of confinement; a dungeon.
  • noun An awkward situation; a predicament.
  • noun The small pit lined with a cup into which a golf ball must be hit.
  • noun One of the divisions of a golf course, from tee to cup.
  • noun Physics A vacant position in an atom left by the absence of a valence electron, especially a position in a semiconductor that acts as a carrier of positive electric charge.
  • intransitive verb To put a hole in.
  • intransitive verb To put or propel into a hole.
  • intransitive verb To make a hole in something.
  • idiom (in the hole) Having a score below zero.
  • idiom (in the hole) In debt.
  • idiom (in the hole) At a disadvantage.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To cut, dig, or make a hole or holes in: as, to hole a post for the insertion of rails or bars; to hole a flute.
  • To drive into a hole.
  • In mining: To connect two workings with each other.
  • In coal-mining, to undercut the coal, or pick away the lower part of the seam, so that that which is above can be thrown down by means of wedges or by the use of powder.
  • To go into a hole, as an animal into its den or burrow.
  • Specifically, to retire into a den or burrow for the winter: said of a hibernating animal.
  • In billiards, to win by pocketing. Some billiard games of mixed pockets and caroms require the final shot to be a carom; others insist upon a pocket.
  • The former and more correct spelling of whole.
  • Hollow; deep; concave.
  • Hollow; hungry.
  • noun A hollow place or cavity in a solid body; a perforation, orifice, aperture, pit, rent, or crevice.
  • noun The excavated habitation of certain wild animals, as the fox, the badger, etc.; a burrow.
  • noun Hence A narrow, dark, or obscure lodging or place; especially, an obscure lodging for one in hiding, or a secret room for a prohibited or disreputable business, as for counterfeiting, unlicensed printing, liquor-selling, etc.: as, a rum-hole.
  • noun The hollow interior of a ship: now called, by corruption, the hold. See hold.
  • noun An indentation in the coast; a cove, or small harbor, as Holmes's Hole in Martha's Vineyard, and Wood's Hole on the coast opposite; a narrow passage or waterway between two islands, as Robinson's Hole, in the same region.
  • noun A level grassy area surrounded by mountains: a word formerly much in use and still current in the northern parts of the Rocky Mountains.
  • noun A puzzling situation; a scrape; a fix.
  • noun Synonyms Opening, cave, cavity, excavation, hollow.
  • noun Den, kennel, hovel.
  • A simplified (and the earlier) spelling of whole.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To cut, dig, or bore a hole or holes in.
  • transitive verb To drive into a hole, as an animal, or a billiard ball.
  • noun A hollow place or cavity; an excavation; a pit; an opening in or through a solid body, a fabric, etc.; a perforation; a rent; a fissure.
  • noun An excavation in the ground, made by an animal to live in, or a natural cavity inhabited by an animal; hence, a low, narrow, or dark lodging or place; a mean habitation.
  • noun A small cavity used in some games, usually one into which a marble or ball is to be played or driven; hence, a score made by playing a marble or ball into such a hole, as in golf.
  • noun (Fives) At Eton College, England, that part of the floor of the court between the step and the pepperbox.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English hol; see kel- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English, from Old English hol 'orifice, hollow place', from Proto-Germanic *hulan (compare Middle Dutch hool, German Höhle, Old Norse holr, Walloon hol), noun form of Proto-Germanic *hulaz 'hollow'. More at hollow.


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