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

  • n. Chiefly British An island in a river.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The holly.
  • n. A common evergreen oak, of Europe, Quercus ilex; the holm oak.
  • n. Land that is liable to flooding; a river island.
  • n. an islet, sometimes with holly bushes.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A common evergreen oak, of Europe (Quercus Ilex); -- called also ilex, and holly.
  • n. An islet in a river.
  • n. Low, flat land.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A hill. Layamon. An islet or a river-island; in the Orkneys, a small island off a larger one.
  • n. A river-meadow; a low flat tract of rich land by the side of a river.
  • n. Holly.
  • n. The holm-oak.


Middle English, from Old Norse hōlmr; see kel-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Alteration of hollin. (Wiktionary)
From Old Norse holmr ("islet"), cognate with Old English holm. (Wiktionary)



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  • Holm should sound like home. Inserting an L-sound in this word and pronouncing it as spelled is not traditional and not a good idea; most authorities do not recognize this variant. — The Orthoepist

    June 9, 2010

  • Used in the north of England for a meadow or low ground beside a river.

    October 20, 2009