Definition of hole noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//həʊl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//hoʊl//
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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 trousers. 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 see also bolthole
  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. See related entries: Golf
  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 somebody/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. Word OriginOld English hol (noun), holian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch hol (noun) ‘cave’, (adjective) ‘hollow’, and German hohl ‘hollow’, from an Indo-European root meaning ‘cover, conceal’.Extra examples He had worn a hole in the knees of his trousers. I made an extra hole in my belt. I uprooted the tree and filled the hole with earth. I used a skewer to make an extra hole in my belt. She punched two holes in each sheet of paper. The car was riddled with bullet holes. The missile had torn a jagged hole in the side of the ship. The old blankets were now full of holes. The snake disappeared down a hole. The wall was full of bullet holes. There was water in the hole. We climbed through the hole. We dug a deep hole to bury the animals in. We used cement to plug the holes. Buying the new equipment left a big hole in the company’s finances. He managed to dig out a small snow hole. I’ve got a chocolate-bar-sized hole in my stomach. She drilled a small hole in the wall. She won by one hole. There were holes in the knees of his jeans. Water had collected in holes in the road. a bullet hole an operation for a hole in her heartIdioms
    an ace up your sleeve (British English) (North American English an ace in the hole)
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    (informal) 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
    (informal) in a difficult situation He had got himself into a hole and it was going to be difficult to get out of it. (North American English, informal) owing money 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 School fees can make a big hole in your savings.
    pick 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.
    a square peg (in a round hole)
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    (informal) a person who does not feel happy or comfortable in a particular situation, or who is not suitable for it
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: hole