Synonyms & Antonyms of hollow

(Entry 1 of 3)

curved inward
  • there's a noticeably hollow spot in the mattress where he has been sleeping

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Synonyms & Antonyms of hollow (Entry 2 of 3)

1 a sunken area forming a separate space
  • made a little hollow in her mound of mashed potatoes and filled it with gravy

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2 an area of lowland between hills or mountains
  • a quaint village nestled in a hollow among green hills

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Synonyms & Antonyms of hollow (Entry 3 of 3)

as in excavate, groove

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Frequently Asked Questions About hollow

How is the word hollow distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of hollow are empty, idle, nugatory, otiose, and vain. While all these words mean "being without worth or significance," empty and hollow suggest a deceiving lack of real substance or soundness or genuineness.

an empty attempt at reconciliation

a hollow victory

When is it sensible to use idle instead of hollow?

Although the words idle and hollow have much in common, idle suggests being incapable of worthwhile use or effect.

idle speculations

When could nugatory be used to replace hollow?

The synonyms nugatory and hollow are sometimes interchangeable, but nugatory suggests triviality or insignificance.

a monarch with nugatory powers

When can otiose be used instead of hollow?

In some situations, the words otiose and hollow are roughly equivalent. However, otiose suggests that something serves no purpose and is either an encumbrance or a superfluity.

a film without a single otiose scene

Where would vain be a reasonable alternative to hollow?

While in some cases nearly identical to hollow, vain implies either absolute or relative absence of value.

vain promises

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Time Traveler for hollow

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

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Cite this Entry

“Hollow.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Sep. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on hollow

Nglish: Translation of hollow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hollow for Arabic Speakers


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