American English

Definition of hole noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    hollow space
  1. 1[countable] a hollow space in something solid or in the surface of something He dug a deep hole in the garden. The bomb blew a huge hole in the ground. Water had collected in the holes in the road.
  2. opening
  3. 2[countable] a space or opening that goes all the way through something to drill/bore/punch/kick a hole in something There were holes in the knees of his pants. The children climbed through a hole in the fence. a bullet hole the hole in the ozone layer see also ozone hole
  4. animal's home
  5. 3[countable] the home of a small animal a rabbit/mouse, etc. hole compare foxhole, pigeonhole
  6. unpleasant place
  7. 4[countable, usually singular] (informal) (disapproving) an unpleasant place to live or be in synonym dump I am not going to bring up my child in this hole. see also hellhole
  8. in golf
  9. 5[countable] a hollow in the ground that you must get the ball into; one of the sections of a golf course with the tee at the beginning and the hole at the end The ball rolled into the hole and she had won. an eighteen-hole golf course He liked to play a few holes after work. She won the first hole.
  10. fault/weakness
  11. 6[countable, usually plural] a fault or weakness in something such as a plan, law, or story He was found not guilty because of holes in the prosecution case. I don't believe what she says—her story is full of holes. see also loophole
  12. empty place/position
  13. 7[singular] a place or position that needs to be filled because someone or something is no longer there After his wife left, there was a gaping hole in his life. Buying the new equipment left a big hole in the company's finances. There are many other compounds ending in hole. You will find them at their place in the alphabet.
  14. Idioms
    an ace in the hole (informal)
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    a secret advantage, for example a piece of information or a skill, that you are ready to use if you need to
    burn a hole in your pocket
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    if money burns a hole in your pocket, you want to spend it as soon as you have it
    dig yourself into a hole
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    to get yourself into a bad situation that will be very difficult to get out of
    in a hole (informal)
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    in a difficult situation He had gotten himself into a hole and it was going to be difficult to get out of it.
    in the hole (informal)
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    owing money synonym in debt We start the current fiscal year $30 million in the hole.
    make a hole in something
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    to use up a large amount of something that you have, especially money College tuition can make a big hole in your savings.
    need something like a hole in the head (informal)
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    to have no need or desire for something
    pick/poke/punch holes in something
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    to find the weak points in something such as a plan, suggestion, etc. It was easy to pick holes in his arguments.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: hole