hole

noun
\ ˈhōl How to pronounce hole (audio) \

Definition of hole

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : an opening through something : perforation The coat has a hole in it. a bullet hole
b : an area where something is missing His mother's death left a hole in his life. : gap: such as
(1) : a serious discrepancy : flaw, weakness some holes in your logic
(2) : an opening in a defensive formation a running back's ability to find holes in the defensive line especially : the area of a baseball field between the positions of shortstop and third baseman
(3) : a defect in a crystal (as of a semiconductor) that is due to an electron's having left its normal position in one of the crystal bonds and that is equivalent in many respects to a positively charged particle
2 : a hollowed-out place a hole in an apple : such as
a : a cave, pit, or well in the ground dug a large hole with a steam shovel
b : burrow a rabbit hole
c : an unusually deep place in a body of water (such as a river)
3a : a wretched or dreary place How could anyone live in such a hole?
b : a prison cell especially for solitary confinement threw him in the hole for two days
4a golf : a shallow cylindrical hole or hollowed-out place in the putting green of a golf course into which the ball is played
b : a part of the golf course from tee (see tee entry 2 sense 2) to putting green just beginning play on the third hole also : the play on such a hole as a unit of scoring won the hole by two strokes
5a : an awkward position or circumstance : fix got the rebels out of a hole at the battle— Kenneth Roberts
b : a position of owing or losing money $10 million in the hole raising money to get out of the hole
in the hole
1 : having a score below zero
2 : at a disadvantage

hole

verb
holed; holing

Definition of hole (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to make an opening through or a hollowed-out place in (as by cutting, digging, boring, or shooting at) : to make a hole (see hole entry 1) in The ship was holed along the waterline by enemy fire.
2 : to drive or hit into a hole hole a putt The dogs holed the fox.

intransitive verb

: to make an opening through or a hollowed-out place in something : to make a hole in something

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of hole in a Sentence

Noun

I have a hole in my sock. He fixed the hole in the roof. a mouse hole in the wall The dog dug a deep hole. Her putt rolled right into the hole. She made a birdie on the seventh hole. The course has 18 holes.

Verb

She holed a long putt for a birdie. holed the target with a round of shots
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The men on the outrigger platform rushed to grab the spire and align it with the riveting holes to bolt it in place. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, "A Friendship Turned to Rivalry. A Feud That Changed the New York Skyline.," 27 Mar. 2019 The car, a Honda Element, had a bullet hole on the driver’s side of its windshield. Gina Cole, The Seattle Times, "Man shot dead on Highway 520 bridge near Montlake," 26 Mar. 2019 Major plot holes are explained away in two seconds. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "I Never Thought I’d Love the Pretty Little Liars Spin-off More Than the Original, but Here We Are," 20 Mar. 2019 Of course, that investment doesn't necessarily have to put a hole in your pocket. Popular Mechanics, "These Laser-Sharp Japanese Knives Are a Kitchen Staple," 14 Mar. 2019 The sand is filled with all sizes of stones in deep blacks and greys with naturally occurring holes in them. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "The Best Beaches for a Winter Stroll, According to Sophie Buhai," 6 Mar. 2019 That’s in part because these are the places most likely to have actual holes cut into the building envelope to make way for pipes and wires. Barbara Eldredge, Curbed, "How to save on utility bills," 25 Jan. 2019 Use melted chocolate to glue on an M&M for the nose, then use a wooden pick to make a hole on each side of ball and press in pretzel halves for antlers. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Snowy Cookie Truffles," 30 Nov. 2018 But special circumstances — such as coronal holes and giant explosions of solar plasma called coronal mass ejections — can extend the intensity and the reach of these dazzling light displays. Mike Wall, Space.com, "Hole in Sun's Atmosphere Amps Up Northern Lights," 11 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Schauffele, the PGA Tour rookie of the year last season, holed a 30-foot putt from behind the 18th green for a 67. Doug Ferguson, Fox News, "Spieth part of 3-way tie for British lead as Woods lurks," 21 July 2018 The sudden freedom to leave the flagstick in has left golfers pondering whether doing so would increase their likelihood of holing putts. Brian Costa, WSJ, "Golf’s New Conundrum: Flagstick In or Out?," 24 Jan. 2019 The other was the third round in 2001, when Woods holed a birdie putt from one end of the island green to the other and wound up winning the next day. Doug Ferguson, BostonGlobe.com, "PGA’s top players searching for secret at Sawgrass," 9 May 2018 Dailey spent the time walking from hole to hole talking to fans, taking pictures and signing autographs. Kelli Stacy, courant.com, "As Always, UConn Family Out In Force At Travelers Pro-Am," 21 June 2018 Climb the pitons, scuba and snorkel, or simply hole yourself up in rooms with some of the most stunning views in the Caribbean. David Jefferys, Condé Nast Traveler, "This Is the Best Caribbean Island for You," 15 Jan. 2018 Hatton tied for third with Rafa Cabrera Bello, who holed a bunker shot for eagle on the opening hole and was among six players who had at least a share of the lead during the final round. Doug Ferguson, Houston Chronicle, "Phil Mickelson ends longest drought with playoff win in Mexico," 4 Mar. 2018 Day holed a 6-foot birdie putt in the dark on the fifth hole of a sudden-death playoff Sunday. USA TODAY, "Jason Day, Alex Noren need another day to decide winner at Torrey Pines," 28 Jan. 2018 DeChambeau, the Tour’s admitted science nerd, is lurking as is 21-year old Aaron Wise, who showed his tenacity by holing a chip shot on the final hole a moment after a swing and miss from thick rough beside the green. Ron Green Jr., charlotteobserver, "‘Strap on.’ Storylines, course are set up for a gripping final round at Quail Hollow | Charlotte Observer," 5 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hole.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of hole

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for hole

Noun

Middle English hole, holle, going back to Old English hol "hollow place, cave, pit," noun derivative from neuter of hol "hollow, deeply concave, sunken," going back to Germanic *hula- (whence also Old Saxon & Old High German hol "hollow," Old Norse holr), probably going back to Indo-European *ḱuH-ló- (with assumed shortening of pretonic vowel), zero-grade derivative of a base *ḱeu̯H- "hollow," whence, with varying ablaut and suffixation, Greek koîlos, kóïlos "hollow, deep" (from *ḱou̯H-ilo-), Latin cavus "hollow, concave" (from *ḱou̯H-o-), Middle Irish cúa "hollow space, cavity," Middle Welsh ceu "hollow, empty" (both from *ḱou̯H-i̯o-?), Old Church Slavic sui "vain, empty" (from *ḱou̯H-i̯o-)

Verb

Middle English holen, going back to Old English holian, derivative of hol hole entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hole

Statistics for hole

Last Updated

7 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hole

The first known use of hole was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for hole

hole

noun

English Language Learners Definition of hole

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an opening into or through something
: a hollow place in the ground
: a place in the ground where an animal lives

hole

verb

English Language Learners Definition of hole (Entry 2 of 2)

golf : to hit (the ball) into the hole

hole

noun
\ ˈhōl How to pronounce hole (audio) \

Kids Definition of hole

1 : an opening into or through something There's a hole in the roof.
2 : a hollowed out place I dug a hole.
3 : den sense 1, burrow a mouse hole

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on hole

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hole

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hole

Spanish Central: Translation of hole

Nglish: Translation of hole for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hole for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hole

Comments on hole

What made you want to look up hole? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

an enemy or opponent

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Thing: Animal Edition

  • alt 5a023732e6f75
  • Name that animal:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!