I. hole 1 S1 W2 /həʊl $ hoʊl/ BrE AmE noun [countable]
[ Language: Old English ; Origin: hol ]
1 . SPACE IN SOMETHING SOLID an empty space in something solid
There was a huge hole in the road.
I began digging a hole for the plant.
► Do not say there is a hole 'on' something. Say there is a hole in something.
2 . SPACE SOMETHING CAN GO THROUGH a space in something solid that allows light or things to pass through
They climbed through a hole in the fence.
These socks are full of holes.
bullet holes (=made by bullets)
3 . EMPTY PLACE a place where someone or something should be, but is missing
Their departure will leave a gaping hole in Grand Prix racing.
4 . WEAK PART a weak part or fault in something such as an idea or plan:
The theory is full of holes.
If you have holes in your game, work on them.
5 . ANIMAL’S HOME the home of a small animal:
a rabbit hole
6 . UNPLEASANT PLACE informal an unpleasant place:
I’ve got to get out of this hole.
7 . GOLF
a) a hole in the ground that you try to get the ball into in the game of golf
b) one part of a ↑ golf course with this kind of hole at one end
8 . hole in one when someone hits the ball in golf from the starting place into the hole with only one hit
9 . make a hole in something informal to use a large part of an amount of money, food etc:
Holidays can make a big hole in your savings.
10 . be in a hole informal to be in a difficult situation
11 . be in the hole American English spoken to owe money:
I was something like $16,000 in the hole already.
12 . need/want something like a hole in the head spoken used to say that you definitely do not need or want something:
I need this conversation like a hole in the head.
⇨ ace in the hole at ↑ ace 1 (7), ⇨ ↑ black hole , ⇨ square peg in a round hole at ↑ square 1 (12), ⇨ ↑ watering hole
• • •
▪ hole an empty space in the surface of something, which sometimes goes all the way through it:
A fox had dug a hole under our fence.
Rain was coming in through a hole in the roof.
▪ space an empty area between two things, into which you can put something:
Are there any empty spaces on the bookshelf?
a parking space
▪ gap an empty area between two things or two parts of something, especially one that should not be there:
He has a gap between his two front teeth.
I squeezed through a gap in the hedge.
▪ opening a hole that something can pass through or that you can see through, especially at the entrance of something:
The train disappeared into the dark opening of the tunnel.
I looked through the narrow opening in the wall.
▪ leak a small hole where something has been damaged or broken that lets liquid or gas flow in or out:
a leak in the pipe
The plumber's coming to repair the leak.
▪ puncture especially British English a small hole in a tyre through which air escapes:
My bike's got a puncture.
▪ crack a very narrow space between two things or two parts of something:
The snake slid into a crack in the rock.
She was peering through the crack in the curtains.
▪ slot a straight narrow hole that you put a particular type of object into:
You have to put a coin in the slot before you dial the number.
A small disk fits into a slot in the camera.
▪ crater a round hole in the ground made by an explosion or by a large object hitting it hard:
a volcanic crater
The meteor left a crater over five miles wide.
the craters on the moon
■ to make a hole in something
▪ make a hole in something to cause a hole to appear in something:
Make a hole in the bottom of the can using a hammer and nail.
▪ pierce to make a small hole in or through something, using a pointed object:
The dog's teeth had pierced her skin.
Shelley wanted to have her ears pierced (=for earrings) .
▪ prick to make a very small hole in the surface of something, using a pointed object:
Prick the potatoes before baking them.
My finger was bleeding where the needle had pricked it.
▪ punch to make a hole through paper or flat material using a metal tool or other sharp object:
I bought one of those things for punching holes in paper.
You have to get your ticket punched before you get on the train.
▪ puncture to make a small hole in something, especially something where skin or a wall surrounds a softer or hollow inside part:
The bullet had punctured his lung.
▪ perforate formal to make a hole or holes in something:
Fragments of the bullet had perforated his intestines.
▪ drill to make a hole using a special tool, often one which turns round and round very quickly:
The dentist started drilling a hole in my tooth.
They won a contract to drill for oil in the area.
▪ bore to make a deep round hole through a rock, into the ground etc:
They had to bore through solid rock.
The men were boring a hole for the tunnel.
II. hole 2 BrE AmE verb
1 . [intransitive and transitive] to hit the ball into a hole in golf:
He holed the putt with ease.
2 . be holed if a ship is holed, something makes a hole in it
hole out phrasal verb
to hit the ball into a hole in golf
hole up ( also be holed up ) phrasal verb informal
to hide somewhere for a period of time
hole up in/with/at
The gunmen are still holed up in the town.