hollow(redirected from hollowness)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
obsolete A premeditated or foregone result or circumstance. Many considered his defeat to be all hollow, as he never had a real chance from the outset.
beat (someone or something) all hollow
To totally outdo or defeat (someone or something). Primarily heard in UK, Australia. A: "Did you guys win today?" B: "We sure did! We beat them all hollow: 10-0!" I worked so hard on this project and beat it all hollow—everyone else's looked so bad compared to mine!
hollow something out
to make the inside of something hollow. Martha hollowed the book out and put her money inside. She hollowed out a book.
to have a hollow leg
Fig. to have a great capacity or need for food or drink. Bobby can drink more beer than I can afford. I think he has a hollow leg!
ring hollowalso ring false
to seem dishonest, not true, or wrong The Rockets sounded like a defeated team - they talked of the possibility of a comeback, but the words rang hollow. Her characters and situations all ring false and her movie just seems painful and pointless.Opposite of: ring true
Usage notes: often used in the forms a hollow ring or a false ring (a dishonest or not sincere quality): Her story about the hostages is certainly exciting, but it has a hollow ring.
beat somebody hollow(British & Australian)
to defeat someone easily and by a large amount We played my brother's school at football and beat them hollow.
if something someone says rings hollow, it does not sound true or sincere The claims they made two years ago that peace was just around the corner ring very hollow now.See beat hollow
[beat/bore/scare etc.] the pants off somebody(informal)
if someone or something beats, bores, scares etc. the pants off someone, they beat, bore, or scare them completely I hate sunbathing. It bores the pants off me. Horror films scare the pants off me.See be caught with pants down
see under beat the pants off.
beat the pants off
Also, beat hollow. Win decisively over someone, outdo. For example, When it comes to the Patriots' Day parade, Lexington beats the pants off the neighboring towns , or This beer beats the other brands hollow. Both phrases use beat in the sense of "surpass." Pants off has served as an intensifier since about 1930; the variant dates from about 1775.
Also, have a false or hollow ring ; strike a false note. Seem wrong or deceitful, as in Her denial rings false-I'm sure she was there when it happened, or His good wishes always seem to have a hollow ring, or Carol's congratulatory phone call really struck a false note. Ring false and the antonym, ring true, which means "seem genuine," allude to the old practice of judging a coin genuine or fake by the sound it gives out when tapped. This practice became obsolete when coins ceased to be made of precious metals, but by then the idioms were being used to refer to other matters. [Mid-1800s]