Meaning of HOLE in English

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

hole in

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

hole in

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

hole in

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.

hole in

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.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.