A hole isn't just a hollow space dug out of the ground or punched out of something. When you're talking casually with friends, you can also call a place that's small or dumpy a hole, like a rundown town or a really tiny apartment.

The word hole comes from the Old English hol meaning "cave" which in prehistoric times wasn't just a dark space to hide, it was a home. The word hole is used in many contexts from a rabbit hole where rabbits live to "a hole in one" — the golf term. And, if you're feeling sick or depressed, you can hole up in your room — hiding away from the world, watching TV for hours.

Definitions of hole
  1. noun
    an opening into or through something
    see moresee less
    show 12 types...
    hide 12 types...
    a natural opening in something
    a hole through which an animal may bolt when pursued into its burrow or den
    bullet hole
    a hole made by a bullet passing through it
    a small opening or crevice (especially in a rock face or wall)
    an accidental hole that allows something (fluid or light etc.) to enter or escape
    ozone hole
    an area of the ozone layer (near the poles) that is seasonally depleted of ozone
    a hole made in something
    a hole (as in the wall of a building) made by rats
    a hole in a board where a knot came out
    the contractile aperture in the center of the iris of the eye; resembles a large black dot
    minute opening in the wall of an ovule through which the pollen tube enters
    pore, stoma, stomate
    a minute epidermal pore in a leaf or stem through which gases and water vapor can pass
    type of:
    gap, opening
    an open or empty space in or between things
  2. noun
    an opening deliberately made in or through something
    see moresee less
    show 32 types...
    hide 32 types...
    air hole
    a hole that allows the passage of air
    a hole through which you put your arm and where a sleeve can be attached
    a hole in a barrel or cask; used to fill or empty it
    button hole, buttonhole
    a hole through which buttons are pushed
    a hole (usually in wood) with the top part enlarged so that a screw or bolt will fit into it and lie below the surface
    the hole (or metal container in the hole) on a golf green
    ear hole
    a hole (as in a helmet) for sound to reach the ears
    a small hole or loop (as in a needle)
    eyehole, eyelet
    a small hole (usually round and finished around the edges) in cloth or leather for the passage of a cord or hook or bar
    finger hole
    a hole for inserting a finger
    finger hole
    one of a series of holes in a woodwind instrument; pitch changes when a finger covers it
    hawse, hawsehole, hawsepipe
    the hole that an anchor rope passes through
    the hole where a key is inserted
    a small hole in a fortified wall; for observation or discharging weapons
    lubber's hole
    hole in a platform on a mast through which a sailor can climb without going out on the shrouds
    a hole (usually with a flush cover) through which a person can gain access to an underground structure
    mortice, mortise
    a square hole made to receive a tenon and so to form a joint
    mouth hole
    a hole (as in a ski mask) for the mouth
    nail hole
    a hole left after a nail is removed
    eyehole, peephole, spyhole
    a hole (in a door or an oven etc) through which you can peep
    a line of small holes for tearing at a particular place
    a hole into which a plug fits (especially a hole where water drains away)
    post hole, posthole
    a hole dug in the ground to hold a fence post
    a small hole made by a sharp object
    sound hole
    a hole in a soundboard (as of a violin) designed to resonate with the tones
    the hole in a woodwind that is closed and opened with the thumb
    blowhole, vent, vent-hole, venthole
    a hole for the escape of gas or air
    a one-way peephole in a door
    a small puncture that might have been made by a pin
    small puncture (as if made by a pin)
    smoke hole
    a vent (as in a roof) for smoke to escape
    a finger hole made to fit the thumb (as in a bowling ball)
    type of:
    a vacant or unobstructed space that is man-made
  3. noun
    a depression hollowed out of solid matter
    synonyms: hollow
    see moresee less
    show 17 types...
    hide 17 types...
    burrow, tunnel
    a hole made by an animal, usually for shelter
    gopher hole
    a hole in the ground made by gophers
    kettle, kettle hole
    (geology) a hollow (typically filled by a lake) that results from the melting of a mass of ice trapped in glacial deposits
    cavity, pit
    a sizeable hole (usually in the ground)
    chuckhole, pothole
    a pit or hole produced by wear or weathering (especially in a road surface)
    rabbit burrow, rabbit hole
    a hole in the ground as a nest made by wild rabbits
    hole made by a burrowing worm
    a sloping pit with a stake in the middle used as an obstacle to the enemy
    barbecue pit
    a pit where wood or charcoal is burned to make a bed of hot coals suitable for barbecuing meat
    borrow pit
    a pit created to provide earth that can be used as fill at another site
    (golf) the cavity left when a piece of turf is cut from the ground by the club head in making a stroke
    fire pit
    a pit whose floor is incandescent lava
    a pit filled with loose wet sand into which objects are sucked down
    a large pit in sandy ground from which sand is dug
    a pit over which lumber is positioned to be sawed by two men with a long two-handed saw
    tar pit
    a natural accumulation of bitumens at the surface of the earth; often acts as a trap for animals whose bones are thus preserved
    rabbit warren, warren
    a series of connected underground tunnels occupied by rabbits
    type of:
    depression, natural depression
    a sunken or depressed geological formation
  4. noun
    an unoccupied space
    see moresee less
    any tiny hole admitting passage of a liquid (fluid or gas)
    type of:
    an empty area (usually bounded in some way between things)
  5. verb
    make holes in
    see moresee less
    type of:
    core out, hollow, hollow out
    remove the interior of
  6. noun
    one playing period (from tee to green) on a golf course
    “he played 18 holes
    synonyms: golf hole
    see moresee less
    a golf hole with a sharp angle in the fairway
    type of:
    period of play, play, playing period
    (in games or plays or other performances) the time during which play proceeds
  7. verb
    hit the ball into the hole
    synonyms: hole out
    see moresee less
    type of:
    cause to move by striking
  8. noun
    a fault
    “he shot holes in my argument”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    defect, fault, flaw
    an imperfection in an object or machine
  9. noun
    informal terms for a difficult situation
    synonyms: fix, jam, kettle of fish, mess, muddle, pickle
    see moresee less
    dog's breakfast, dog's dinner
    a poor job; a mess
    type of:
    a condition or state of affairs almost beyond one's ability to deal with and requiring great effort to bear or overcome
  10. noun
    informal terms for the mouth
    synonyms: cakehole, gob, maw, trap, yap
    see moresee less
    type of:
    mouth, oral cavity, oral fissure, rima oris
    the opening through which food is taken in and vocalizations emerge
Word Family
F1 image

Express yourself in 25 languages

  • Learn immersively - no memorization required
  • Build skills for real-world conversations
  • Get immediate feedback on your pronunciation
Get started for $7.99/month