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all hollow

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.
See also: all, hollow

beat (one) hollow

To defeat an opponent easily and/or by a wide margin. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. The final score was 17-1? Wow, we really beat that team hollow!
See also: beat, hollow

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!
See also: all, beat, hollow

have a hollow leg

To be able to consume a larger amount of food or drink (especially alcohol) than is typical. Also seen as "have hollow legs." The steakhouse, known for its huge portions, is introducing a number of smaller menu items for those who don't have a hollow leg. The way she drinks on a night out, you'd swear she has a hollow leg.
See also: have, hollow, leg

have hollow legs

To be able to consume a larger amount of food or drink (especially alcohol) than is typical. Also seen as "have a hollow leg." The steakhouse, known for its huge portions, is introducing a number of smaller menu items for those who don't have hollow legs. The way she drinks on a night out, you'd swear she has hollow legs.
See also: have, hollow, leg

hollow gesture

Some action or effort that is insincere or disingenuous. You tell me reach out to you, but it feels like a hollow gesture because you never return my calls!
See also: gesture, hollow

hollow out

1. To create a cavity, gap, or space within something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hollow" and "out." The criminals hollowed out a tree and stashed the stolen cash inside. We need to hollow the pumpkin out before we can carve a face on it.
2. To form something by making a hollow space (within something else). A noun or pronoun can be used between "hollow" and "out." The bird hollows out a nest in the side of the cliff. My brother and I hollowed a space out in the log where we could keep our various treasures and discoveries.
3. To cause someone to feel devoid of purpose, happiness, contentment, ebullience, etc. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hollow" and "out." I had always said I would never get a job in some heartless corporate machine that hollows out its employees into passionless husks. My divorce really hollowed me out for a while, leaving me wondering what the point of it all really was.
4. To weaken or diminish something by removing large portions of it. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hollow" and "out." The new owners hollowed the company out almost as soon as it was purchased, reducing it to a skeleton operation once its valuable intellectual property had been obtained. Many feel that the current economy is effectively hollowing out the middle class, leaving only people above it or below it.
5. To cause a country's industrial or manufacturing sector to weaken or deteriorate by using the facilities of less expensive, less developed foreign nations. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hollow" and "out"; typically used in passive constructions. Once a titan of commercial manufacturing, the country is being hollowed out by the increase in readily available factories and inexpensive workforce overseas.
See also: hollow, out

in the hollow of (one's) hand

Under one's total influence, domination, or control. Often used in the blessing "May God hold/keep you in the hollow of His hand." At this point in history, these four men held the entirety of Europe in the hollow of their hands. She now has the entire company in the hollow of her hand. We are all sending our thoughts and prayers to you and your family during this tragic time. May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.
See also: hand, hollow, of

ring false

To seem or sound false, insincere, inauthentic, or deceitful. (Much less common than the opposite, "ring true.") I personally think that their reasoning rings a bit false. The actor's vacuous, overblown performance is sure to ring false for anyone who grew up in that part of the country.
See also: false, ring

ring hollow

To sound or give the sense of being false, insincere, or not genuine. The statements that followed made her apology ring hollow. The dialogue in the film rings hollow—no one talks like that in real life.
See also: hollow, ring
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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.
See also: hollow, out

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!
See also: have, hollow, leg, to
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

beat hollow

see under beat the pants off.
See also: beat, hollow

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.
See also: beat, off, pant

ring false

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]
See also: false, ring
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

beat someone hollow

If you beat someone hollow, you defeat them completely. Radio's attempts at horror are generally beaten hollow by the terrifying capabilities of cinema. If she hadn't been wearing high-heeled shoes, she would have beaten him hollow.
See also: beat, hollow, someone

ring hollow


sound hollow

COMMON If a statement or promise rings hollow or sounds hollow, it does not seem true or sincere. Now the promise of a long, secure career rings hollow, employers must find new ways to attract staff. Official claims that the two countries are close friends sound increasingly hollow. Note: You can also say that a statement or promise has a hollow ring. The Government's claim to be making record investments in railways has a very hollow ring. Compare with ring true. Note: The idea is of an object that is meant to be solid making a loud noise when struck, indicating that it is weaker or cheaper than it was believed to be.
See also: hollow, ring
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

beat the pants off

prove to be vastly superior to. informal
1990 Paul Auster The Music of Chance ‘Not bad, kid,’ Nashe said. ‘You beat the pants off me.’
See also: beat, off, pant

beat someone hollow

defeat or surpass someone completely or thoroughly.
See also: beat, hollow, someone

hollow legs

a large capacity for drinking alcohol without getting drunk, or for eating without becoming sated. humorous
See also: hollow, leg

in the hollow of your hand

entirely in your power.
See also: hand, hollow, of
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

beat somebody/something ˈhollow

beat somebody easily in a contest, etc.; be much better than somebody/something: As a cook he beats the professionals hollow.

ring ˈtrue/ˈfalse/ˈhollow

seem true/false/insincere: What you’ve said about Jim just doesn’t ring true. Are we talking about the same person?His apology rings a little hollow.
See also: false, hollow, ring, true
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Andrew Menary QC, de-fending, asked McCartney if he was responsible for Mr Hollowed's death.
He said he found out the next day Mr Hollowed had been found dead, adding: "I was upset."
The court heard he was tying to scrounge tobacco from Mr Hollowed.
They went back to Mr McDermott's house where the court was told McCartney asked Mr Hollowed for drugs on credit.
It had Mr Hollowed's blood on it and traces of McCartney's DNA, the court heard.
Mr Edis told the jury DNA from McCartney was also found on the pockets of Mr Hollowed and McCartney later had crack cocaine and money.
"He would know Mr Hollowed and that he would have money and drugs on him.
McCartney denied he had attacked Mr Hollowed, but the court heard he had behaved violently in the past.
Two people were arrested following Mr Hollowed's death.
Three of Mr Hollowed's five sisters made an emotional appeal for information about his murder.
Detectives are trying to build up a picture of Mr Hollowed's movements in the hours before his death.
Police renewed their appeal for anyone who may have seen Mr Hollowed on Saturday night or in the early hours of Sunday.