Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


Martin was thankful when he felt the collar buttons in their holes.

Marguerite paused, and made a series of holes in the sand with her walking-stick.

He had worked and eaten and slept in their holes, he had ranged the slums of all the seas.

I mean to say, the three holes in the ground being three "Wells!"

The cheese-vat should have holes in it all over like a colander.

Their eyes seemed to glare through the holes in their black masks.

He recognised the odour of the grass, the shadows of the planks, the holes in the wall.

She'll be charming if she gets over it, with holes in her face!

The holes G which are bored around the cylinder are the exhaust ports.

These were the garden-trees which he planted in the holes that Pauline made.


Old English hol "orifice, hollow place, cave, perforation," from Proto-Germanic *hul (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Old High German hol, Middle Dutch hool, Old Norse holr, German hohl "hollow," Gothic us-hulon "to hollow out"), from PIE root *kel- (see cell).

As a contemptuous word for "small dingy lodging or abode" it is attested from 1610s. Meaning "a fix, scrape, mess" is from 1760. Obscene slang use for "vulva" is implied from mid-14c. Hole in the wall "small and unpretentious place" is from 1822; to hole up first recorded 1875. To need (something) like a hole in the head, applied to something useless or detrimental, first recorded 1944 in entertainment publications, probably a translation of a Yiddish expression, cf. ich darf es vi a loch in kop.