hole


hole
hole n Hole, hollow, cavity, pocket, void, vacuum are comparable when they mean an open or unfilled space in a thing.
Hole may apply to an opening in a solid body that is or that suggests a depression or an excavation
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those holes where eyes did once inhabit— Shak.

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a gopher lives in a hole in the ground

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or to one that passes through the material from surface to surface
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look through a hole in the wall

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a hole in a garment

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Hollow, which specifically implies opposition to solid, basically suggests an unfilled space within a solid object, usually one that has a surface opening
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a cave is a hollow in a rock

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a nest in the hollow of a tree trunk

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The term, however, is often applied to a depression in a surface
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the ground was not quite smooth, but had many little heights and hollows

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or to a deep and narrow valley (as a gully or ravine)
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I hate the dreadful hollow behind the little wood— Tennyson

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Cavity is a somewhat more learned word than hollow with much the same implications as the latter in its basic sense
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an old cavity excavated by a woodpecker— Burroughs

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The words are often used interchangeably, but cavity is preferred in technical use
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a cavity in a tooth

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the abdominal cavity

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Pocket is often employed in place of cavity for an abnormal or irregular space (as a bubblelike one in a substance or a sacklike one in a body). It is particularly referred to one that is a source of danger, especially in possessing the tendency to hold or to collect a foreign substance (as dirt, air, or pus)
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a pus pocket in the lungs

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a pocket in an iron casting

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an air pocket in a pipe carrying a liquid interferes with the flow

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we found many persons at work . . . searching for veins and pockets of gold— Bayard T ay lor

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Void applies to an apparently empty space, especially one of marked extent or of conspicuous duration, whether in a thing that is normally continuous
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the air-filled voids of the soil— A. M. Bateman

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or between things that are normally separate
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the American planner will have ... to give up his opaque passion for the transparent wall and go back to the alternation of solid and void that is characteristic of the Japanese house— Mumford

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the immense void between the earth and the nearest of the planets

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we suffer when we have time to spare and no printed matter with which to plug the voidHuxley

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Vacuum basically and especially in technical use applies to space entirely devoid of matter; more often, however, it is applied to the space within an enclosed vessel in which by mechanical means the air has been practically, though seldom completely, exhausted. In its extended use the term applies to a condition or situation which resembles a true vacuum in its emptiness of all that normally should fill it or exert influence on anyone or any-thing that remains in it
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you are not asked, as you are by so many novelists, to concern yourself with the fortunes of two or three people who live in a vacuum . . . but with the fortunes of all the sorts and conditions of men who make up the world in which we all live— Maugham

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{

he felt a sort of emptiness, almost like a vacuum in his soul— D. H. Lawrence

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Analogous words: *aperture, orifice, interstice: perforation, puncture, bore, prick (see corresponding verbs at PERFORATE): slit, slash, cut (see CUT vb)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Hole — (h[=o]l), n. [OE. hol, hole, AS. hol, hole, cavern, from hol, a., hollow; akin to D. hol, OHG. hol, G. hohl, Dan. huul hollow, hul hole, Sw. h[*a]l, Icel. hola; prob. from the root of AS. helan to conceal. See {Hele}, {Hell}, and cf. {Hold} of a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • hole — ► NOUN 1) a hollow space in a solid object or surface. 2) an opening or gap in or passing through something. 3) a cavity on a golf course into which the ball is directed. 4) informal a small, awkward, or unpleasant place or situation. ► VERB 1)… …   English terms dictionary

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  • Hole — Hole, v. t. [AS. holian. See {Hole}, n.] 1. To cut, dig, or bore a hole or holes in; as, to hole a post for the insertion of rails or bars. Chapman. [1913 Webster] 2. To drive into a hole, as an animal, or a billiard ball. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English


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