Meaning of HOLE in English


I. ˈhōl noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, hole, hollow place, hold (of a ship), from Old English hol hole, hollow place (from neuter of hol, adjective, hollow) & Old English holh hole, hollow; akin to Old High German hol, adjective, hollow, Old Norse holr, adjective, hollow, Gothic us hulon to hollow out, Latin caulis stalk of a plant, Greek kaulos stem, and perhaps to Sanskrit kulyā brook, ditch; basic meaning: hollow


a. : an opening into or through anything : aperture , perforation

a hole in a roof

shot a hole through a board

entered the shed through a hole in the side

fishing through a hole in the ice

b. : a pocket of a pool table

dropped the eight ball in the corner hole

c. : an opening in a defensive football lineup (as a space between players or created by a player who is out of position or has been blocked) that offers an opportunity for an offensive player to advance the ball


a. : a hollow place : a cavity in a solid body or area

a hole in an apple

a hole in the hillside


(1) : a hollow in the ground : excavation , pit , cave

the steam shovel had dug a large hole

(2) : a hollow in the ground filled with soft material

(3) : a deep place in a body of water

(4) : a mine, a well, or other shaft dug or drilled in the earth

b. : an unfilled or blank area (as in a page or column printed or to be printed)

expand your story to fill an 18-line hole

c. : the hold of a ship

d. : a sense of loss or persistent yearning for something lost — usually used in the phrase to make a hole in

the loss of his daughter made quite a hole in the man's life


(1) : a defect that exists in a crystal (as of a semiconductor) due to an electron having left its normal position in one of the crystal bonds and that is equivalent in many respects to a positively charged particle

(2) : vacancy 7

f. : an air pocket as it affects an aircraft usually causing it to drop suddenly


a. : an underground habitation or lurking place usually excavated : den , burrow

the fox in his hole

a rabbit hole

b. : a prison cell especially for solitary confinement


a. : flaw , fault

looking for holes in his character

b. : a weak spot or inconsistency (as in a line of reasoning)

his stories are full of holes since he does not explain how his characters get from one psychological state to another

ingenious theory in which … there are many holes — V.S.Pritchett

c. : an oversight or inadequate provision (as in a law, statute, treaty, or agreement) that permits significant evasions

stop up the manifest holes in the neutrality laws — R.M.Lovett


a. : a small cavity or perforation of significance in various games: as

(1) : a small cavity into which a marble is to be played in any of various marble games

(2) : a usually lined cavity 4 1/2 inches in diameter and 4 or more inches deep in a putting green into which the ball is to be played in a game of golf


(1) : the unit of play from a tee to its corresponding hole in a game of golf

(2) : the fairway from a tee to its corresponding green on a golf course

(3) : the score made in playing the ball from the tee into the hole in a game of golf


a. : a mean, dingy, or small and disreputable place especially of lodging or habitation

lived in some hole or other across the tracks

the ladies' cabin … is a dreadful hole — Rachel Henning

b. : a place that one finds objectionable or offensive

7. : a small bay : cove

8. : an awkward embarrassing position : fix

the loss of so competent an assistant put him in a hole for a little while

the noble heroes that got the rebels out of a hole at the battle of Long Island — Kenneth Roberts

: a losing position

the ball team dropped the next two games which put them in the hole by five games

especially : a position of debt or financial loss

in the hole to the tune of several thousand dollars

lent him some money to get him temporarily out of a hole

9. West : a level grassy mountain valley — usually used in place names

Jackson Hole

10. : a side track branching from a main line of a railroad

- in the hole

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English holen, from Old English holian; akin to Old High German holōn to hollow out, Old Norse hola, Gothic us hulon; denominative from the root of Old English hol hole

transitive verb

1. : to make a hole in (as by cutting, digging, boring, or shooting at) : perforate , pierce

holing the fence posts to take the crosspieces

the ship was holed along the waterline by enemy fire


a. : to drive (as an animal or ball) into a hole

the dogs holed the fox

holed the ball in a single shot

b. : to place in a hole

3. : to undercut (the coal) in a bed in coal mining

intransitive verb

1. : to make a hole in something ; especially : to excavate or undercut in coal mining


a. : to go or get into a hole

b. of a train : to take a side track so that an oncoming train can pass on the main track

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.