adj. hol·low·er, hol·low·est
1. Having a cavity, gap, or space within: a hollow wall.
2. Deeply indented or concave; sunken: "His bearded face already has a set, hollow look" (Conor Cruise O'Brien).
3. Without substance or character: a hollow person. See Synonyms at vain.
4. Devoid of truth or validity; specious: "Theirs is at best a hollow form of flattery" (Annalyn Swan).
5. Having a reverberating, sepulchral sound: hollow footsteps.
1. A cavity, gap, or space: a hollow behind a wall.
2. An indented or concave surface or area.
3. A void; an emptiness: a hollow in one's life.
4. A small valley between hills or mountains.
v. hol·lowed, hol·low·ing, hol·lows
1. To make hollow: hollow out a pumpkin.
2. To scoop or form by making concave: hollow out a nest in the sand.
To become hollow or empty.
[Middle English holwe, holowe, from holgh, hole, burrow (influenced by hole, hollow), from Old English holh; see kel-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.