hole

1 of 2

noun

1
a
: 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)
3
a
: 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
4
a
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
5
a
: an awkward position or circumstance : fix
got the rebels out of a hole at the battleKenneth Roberts
b
: a position of owing or losing money
$10 million in the hole
raising money to get out of the hole

hole

2 of 2

verb

holed; holing

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
Phrases
in the hole
1
: having a score below zero
2
: at a disadvantage

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The only downside to this one for me is that the thumb holes are placed too short for my monkey arms—the sleeves feel short, and the overall fit of a women’s medium is smaller than the others of the same size. Lisa Jhung, Outside Online, 6 July 2024 Even a shallow hole can injure someone who stumbles into it. Stephen P. Leatherman, Washington Post, 6 July 2024
Verb
Yes, there holes aplenty in the prosecution of Rusty Sabich (Jake Gyllenhaal), but ruptures in legal procedure aren’t the show’s focus. Ben Travers, IndieWire, 12 June 2024 The first sign of trouble bubbled up from gopher holes a stone’s throw from Stan Ledgerwood’s front door. Mark Olalde, ProPublica, 6 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for hole 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hole.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near hole

Cite this Entry

“Hole.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hole. Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

hole

noun
ˈhōl
1
: an opening into or through a thing
2
a
: a hollow place (as a pit or cave)
b
: a deep place in a body of water
trout holes
3
: an underground habitation : burrow
4
: flaw, fault
5
a
: the shallow cup into which the ball is played in golf
b
: a part of a golf course from the tee to the putting green
6
: a shabby or dingy place
7
: an awkward position : fix
hole verb
holey
ˈhō-lē
adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on hole

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