hole

Definitions

General English

General Science

  • noun a vacancy in an energy band that is normally filled by an electron

Electronics

  • In a semiconductor material, an electron vacancy that is created when an electron jumps the gap from the valence band to the conduction band. Such a hole is mobile and acts as if it were a positively-charged particle, and thus can serve as a charge carrier. Also called electron hole, or mobile hole.

Slang

  • noun an abbreviation of asshole (in the figurative sense of a foolish/obnoxious individual). This term, originating in North American usage, was adopted by British adolescents in the later 1990s.

Sports

  • noun a small round cavity or cup on a green into which the ball is hit
  • noun a part of a golf course that consists of a tee, a fairway, and a green with a hole and is a basic element in scoring.
  • verb to hit or drive a ball into one of the holes of a golf course

Origin & History of “hole”

Etymologically, a hole is a ‘hollow’ place. It originated as a noun use of the Old English adjective hol ‘hollow’ which, together with German hohl, Dutch hol, and Danish hul, all meaning ‘hollow’, goes back to a prehistoric German *khulaz. The source of this is disputed, but it may be related to Indo-European *kel- ‘cover, hide’ (source of English apocalypse, cell, cellar, conceal, hall, hell, helmet, hull ‘pod’, and occult). The semantic connection is presumably that a place that is ‘deep’ or ‘hollowed out’ is also ‘hidden’.
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