hollow (v.) Look up hollow at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "to make hollow," holowen, from hollow (adj.). Related: Hollowed; hollowing. Old English had holian "to hollow out."
hollow (n.) Look up hollow at Dictionary.com
"lowland, valley, basin," 1550s, probably a modern formation from hollow (adj.), which is from Old English holh (n.) "cave, den; internal cavity."
hollowness (n.) Look up hollowness at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "cave, cavern; internal empty space;" mid-15c., "condition of being hollow," from hollow (adj.) + -ness.
holly (n.) Look up holly at Dictionary.com
evergreen shrub especially used for decoration at Christmas, mid-15c., earlier holin (mid-12c.), shortening of Old English holegn, holen "holly," from Proto-Germanic *hulin- (cognates: Old Saxon, Old High German hulis, Old Norse hulfr, Middle Dutch huls, Dutch, German hulst "holly"), cognate with Middle Irish cuilenn, Welsh celyn, Gaelic cuilionn "holly," probably all from PIE root *kel- (5) "to prick" (cognates: Old Church Slavonic kolja "to prick," Russian kolos "ear of corn"), in reference to its leaves. French houx "holly" is from Frankish *huls or some other Germanic source.
hollyhock (n.) Look up hollyhock at Dictionary.com
mid-13c., holihoc, probably from holi "holy" (see holy) + hokke "mallow," from Old English hocc, a word of unknown origin. Another early name for the plant was caulis Sancti Cuthberti "St. Cuthbert's cole." Native to China and southern Europe, the old story is that it was so called because it was brought from the Holy Land.
Hollywood (n.) Look up Hollywood at Dictionary.com
region near Los Angeles, named for the ranch that once stood there, which was named by Deida Wilcox, wife of Horace H. Wilcox, Kansas City real estate man, when they moved there in 1886. They began selling off building lots in 1891 and the village was incorporated in 1903. Once a quiet farming community, by 1910 barns were being converted into movie studios. The name was used generically for "American movies" from 1926, three years after the giant sign was set up, originally reading Hollywoodland, another real estate developer's promotion.
holm (n.) Look up holm at Dictionary.com
"small island in a river; river meadow," late Old English, from Old Norse holmr "small island," especially in a river or bay, or cognate Old Danish hulm, from Proto-Germanic *hul-maz, from PIE root *kel- (4) "to rise, be elevated, be prominent; hill" (see hill (n.)). Obsolete, but preserved in place names, where it has various senses derived from the basic one of "island:" "'raised ground in marsh, enclosure of marginal land, land in a river-bend, river meadow, promontory'" ["Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names"]. Cognate Old English holm (only attested in poetic language) meant "sea, ocean, wave."
Holmesian (adj.) Look up Holmesian at Dictionary.com
1911, in reference to fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, who debuted in 1887. Sherlock-Holmes-ian is from 1902.
holmium (n.) Look up holmium at Dictionary.com
rare earth element, named by French chemist Lecoq de Boisbaudran (1838-1912) in 1886, from holmia "holmium oxide," name of an earth identified and named in Modern Latin by the earth's discoverer, Swedish chemist Per Teodor Cleve (1840-1905), in 1879 from Holmia, Latin name of Stockholm. With metallic element ending -ium. Holmia was isolated from erbia, the Scandinavian earth which also yielded thulium, scandium, and ytterbium.
holo- Look up holo- at Dictionary.com
before vowels, hol-, word-forming element meaning "whole, entire, complete," from Greek holos "whole, entire, complete," also "safe and sound;" as a noun, "the universe," as an adverb, "on the whole;" from PIE *sol-wo-, from root *sol- "whole" (see safe (adj.)). Often translated as whole, which it resembles but with which it apparently has no etymological connection.
holocaust (n.) Look up holocaust at Dictionary.com
mid-13c., "sacrifice by fire, burnt offering," from Old French holocauste (12c.), or directly from Late Latin holocaustum, from Greek holokauston "a thing wholly burnt," neuter of holokaustos "burned whole," from holos "whole" (see holo-) + kaustos, verbal adjective of kaiein "to burn" (see caustic).

Originally a Bible word for "burnt offerings," given wider figurative sense of "massacre, destruction of a large number of persons" from 1670s. The Holocaust "Nazi genocide of European Jews in World War II," first recorded 1957, earlier known in Hebrew as Shoah "catastrophe." The word itself was used in English in reference to Hitler's Jewish policies from 1942, but not as a proper name for them.
Holocene (adj.) Look up Holocene at Dictionary.com
in reference to the epoch that began 10,000 years ago and continues today, 1897, from French holocène (1867), from Greek holo-, comb. form of holos "whole" (see safe (adj.)) + -cene.
hologram (n.) Look up hologram at Dictionary.com
1949, coined by Hungarian-born British scientist Dennis Gabor (Gábor Dénes), 1971 Nobel prize winner in physics for his work in holography; from Greek holos "whole" (here in sense of "three-dimensional;" see safe (adj.)) + -gram.
holograph (n.) Look up holograph at Dictionary.com
"document written entirely by the person from whom it proceeds," 1620s, from Late Latin holographus, from Greek holographos "written entirely by the same hand," literally "written in full," from holos "whole" (see safe (adj.)) + graphos "written," from graphein "to write" (see -graphy). Modern use, with reference to holograms, is a 1960s back-formation from holography.
holographic (adj.) Look up holographic at Dictionary.com
1743, of writing, from holograph + -ic; physics sense is from 1964 (see holography). Related: Holographical.
holography (n.) Look up holography at Dictionary.com
early 19c., of writing, from holograph + -y (4); physics sense, "process of using holograms," is from 1964, coined by discoverer, Hungarian-born physicist Gábor Dénes (1900-1979), from hologram on analogy of telegraphy/telegram.
holomorphic (adj.) Look up holomorphic at Dictionary.com
1871, from holo- + morphic (see metamorphosis). Related: Holomorphically.
holophrastic (adj.) Look up holophrastic at Dictionary.com
"having the force of a whole phrase; expressive of a complex idea," 1837, from holo- "whole" + Latinized form of Greek phrastikos, from phrazein "to indicate, tell, express" (see phrase (n.)).
Holstein Look up Holstein at Dictionary.com
breed of cattle, 1865; so called because originally raised in nearby Friesland. The place name is literally "woodland settlers," from the roots of German Holz "wood" (see holt) and siedeln "to settle," altered by influence of Stein "stone." Since 15c. it has been united with the Duchy of Schleswig.
holster (n.) Look up holster at Dictionary.com
"leather case for a pistol," 1660s, probably from Old English heolster, earlier helustr "concealment, hiding place," from Proto-Germanic *hulfti- (cognates: Old High German hulft "cover, case, sheath," Old Norse hulstr "case, sheath," Middle Dutch holster, German Halfter "holster"), from PIE *kel- (2) "to cover, to hide" (see cell). Intermediate forms are wanting, and the modern word could as well be from the Norse or Dutch cognates.
holster (v.) Look up holster at Dictionary.com
by 1902, from holster (n.). Related: Holstered; holstering.
holt (n.) Look up holt at Dictionary.com
Old English holt "woods, forest, grove, thicket," common in place names, from Proto-Germanic *hultam- (cognates: Old Frisian, Old Norse, Middle Dutch holt, Dutch hout, German Holz "a wood, wood as timber"), from PIE *kldo- (cognates: Old Church Slavonic klada "beam, timber;" Russian koloda, Lithuanian kalada "block of wood, log;" Greek klados "twig;" Old Irish caill "wood"), from root *kel- (1) "to strike, cut."
holy (adj.) Look up holy at Dictionary.com
Old English halig "holy, consecrated, sacred; godly; ecclesiastical," from Proto-Germanic *hailaga- (cognates: Old Norse heilagr, Danish hellig, Old Frisian helich "holy," Old Saxon helag, Middle Dutch helich, Old High German heilag, German heilig, Gothic hailags "holy"), from PIE *kailo- "whole, uninjured" (see health). Adopted at conversion for Latin sanctus.

Primary (pre-Christian) meaning is not possible to determine, but probably it was "that must be preserved whole or intact, that cannot be transgressed or violated," and connected with Old English hal (see health) and Old High German heil "health, happiness, good luck" (source of the German salutation Heil). Holy water was in Old English.

Holy has been used as an intensifying word from 1837; in expletives since 1880s (such as holy smoke, 1883, holy mackerel, 1876, holy cow, 1914, holy moly etc.), most of them euphemisms for holy Christ or holy Moses. Holy Ghost was in Old English (in Middle English often written as one word). Holy League is used of various European alliances; the Holy Alliance was that formed personally by the sovereigns of Russia, Austria, and Prussia in 1815; it ended in 1830.
Holy Land Look up Holy Land at Dictionary.com
"western Palestine, Judaea," late 13c., translating Medieval Latin terra sancta (11c.).
holystone (n.) Look up holystone at Dictionary.com
soft sandstone used to scrub decks of sailing ships, 1777, despite the spelling, probably so called perhaps because it is full of holes, and thus from hole (n.). The other theory is that it was used for cleaning decks on Sundays. As a verb, by 1828.
Six days shalt thou labor as hard as thou art able
And on the seventh holystone the decks and scrape the cable
["The Philadelphia Catechism," Dana, c. 1830]
homage (n.) Look up homage at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "ceremony or act of acknowledging one's faithfulness to a feudal lord; feudal allegiance," earlier "body of vassals of a feudal king" (early 13c.), from Old French omage, homage "allegiance or respect for one's feudal lord" (12c., Modern French hommage), from homme "man," in Medieval Latin "a vassal," from Latin homo (genitive hominis) "man" (see homunculus). Figurative sense of "reverence, honor shown" is from late 14c.
homage (v.) Look up homage at Dictionary.com
1590s (agent noun homager is from c. 1400), from homage (n.). Related: Homaged; homaging.
hombre (n.) Look up hombre at Dictionary.com
"a man" (especially one of Spanish descent), 1846, from Spanish, from Latin hominem, accusative of homo "man" (see homunculus).
homburg (n.) Look up homburg at Dictionary.com
type of soft felt hat with a curled brim and a dented crown, 1894, from Homburg, resort town in Prussia, where it was first made. Introduced to England by Edward VII.
home (n.) Look up home at Dictionary.com
Old English ham "dwelling place, house, abode, fixed residence; estate; village; region, country," from Proto-Germanic *haimaz "home" (cognates: Old Frisian hem "home, village," Old Norse heimr "residence, world," heima "home," Danish hjem, Middle Dutch heem, German heim "home," Gothic haims "village"), from PIE *(t)koimo-, suffixed form of root *tkei- "to settle, dwell, be home" (cognates: Sanskrit kseti "abides, dwells," Armenian shen "inhabited," Greek kome, Lithuanian kaimas "village;" Old Church Slavonic semija "domestic servants"). As an adjective from 1550s. The old Germanic sense of "village" is preserved in place names and in hamlet.
'Home' in the full range and feeling of [Modern English] home is a conception that belongs distinctively to the word home and some of its Gmc. cognates and is not covered by any single word in most of the IE languages. [Buck]
Slang phrase make (oneself) at home "become comfortable in a place one does not live" dates from 1892 (at home "at one's ease" is from 1510s). To keep the home fires burning is a song title from 1914. To be nothing to write home about "unremarkable" is from 1907. Home movie is from 1919; home computer is from 1967. Home stretch (1841) is from horse racing (see stretch (n.)). Home economics as a school course first attested 1899; the phrase itself by 1879 (as "household management" is the original literal sense of economy, the phrase is etymologically redundant).

Home as the goal in a sport or game is from 1778. Home base in baseball attested by 1856; home plate by 1867. Home team in sports is from 1869; home field "grounds belonging to the local team" is from 1802 (the 1800 citation in OED 2nd ed. print is a date typo, as it refers to baseball in Spokane Falls). Home-field advantage attested from 1955.
home (v.) Look up home at Dictionary.com
1765, "to go home," from home (n.). Meaning "be guided to a destination by radio signals, etc." (of missiles, aircraft, etc.) is from 1920; it had been used earlier in reference to pigeons (1862). Related: Homed; homing. Old English had hamian "to establish in a home."
home front (n.) Look up home front at Dictionary.com
also homefront, 1918, from home (n.) + front (n.) in the military sense. A term from World War I; popularized (if not coined) by the agencies running the U.S. propaganda effort.
The battle front in Europe is not the only American front. There is a home front, and our people at home should be as patriotic as our men in uniform in foreign lands. [promotion for the Fourth Liberty Loan appearing in U.S. magazines, fall 1918]
home page (n.) Look up home page at Dictionary.com
also homepage, 1993, from home (n.) + page (n.1).
home rule (n.) Look up home rule at Dictionary.com
1860, originally in reference to Ireland, from home (n.) + rule (n.).
home run (n.) Look up home run at Dictionary.com
1856, from home (n.) + run (n.).
home-brew (n.) Look up home-brew at Dictionary.com
1853, from home-brewed (1711); see home (n.) + brew (v.).
homebody (n.) Look up homebody at Dictionary.com
"one who prefers to stay at home," 1821, from home (n.) + body.
homebound (adj.) Look up homebound at Dictionary.com
"restricted to home," 1882, from home (n.) + bound (adj.2).
homeboy (n.) Look up homeboy at Dictionary.com
"person from one's hometown," 1940s, American English, black slang, also originally with overtones of "simpleton." With many variants (compare homebuddy, homeslice, both 1980s, with meaning shading toward "good friend"). The word had been used by Ruskin (1886) with the sense "stay-at-home male," and it was Canadian slang for "boy brought up in an orphanage or other institution" (1913).
homecoming (n.) Look up homecoming at Dictionary.com
mid-13c., "a coming home," from home (n.) + present participle of come. Compare Old English hamcyme "homecoming, a return." Attested from 1935 in U.S. high school dance sense. Used earlier in Britain in reference to the annual return of natives to the Isle of Man.
homeland (n.) Look up homeland at Dictionary.com
1660s, from home (n.) + land (n.). Old English hamland meant "enclosed pasture." Not in Century Dictionary (U.S., 1910); in more extensive use in U.S. after 2001.
homeless (adj.) Look up homeless at Dictionary.com
"having no permanent abode," 1610s, from home (n.) + -less. Old English had hamleas, but the modern word probably is a new formation. As a noun meaning "homeless persons," by 1857.
homelessness (n.) Look up homelessness at Dictionary.com
1814, from homeless + -ness.
homelily (adv.) Look up homelily at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from homely + -ly (2).
homeliness (n.) Look up homeliness at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "meekness, gentleness," also "familiarity, intimacy; friendliness," from homely + -ness. Sense degenerated by c. 1400 to "want of refinement in manners, coarseness; presumptuousness." Meaning "lack of beauty" is by 1849.
homely (adj.) Look up homely at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "of or belonging to home or household, domestic," from Middle English hom "home" (see home (n.)) + -ly (1). Sense of "plain, unadorned, simple" (as domestic scenes often were) is late 14c., and extension to "having a plain appearance, without particular beauty of features, crude" took place c. 1400, but survived chiefly in U.S., especially in New England, where it was the usual term for "physically unattractive;" ugly meaning typically "ill-tempered." In the old sense of "domestic, of or pertaining to domestic life," homish (1560s) and homelike (1789) have been used.
homemade (adj.) Look up homemade at Dictionary.com
also home-made, 1650s, from home (n.) + made (adj.).
homemaker (n.) Look up homemaker at Dictionary.com
also home-maker, "woman considered as a domestic agent," by 1861, American English, from home (n.) + agent noun from make (v.).
homeo- Look up homeo- at Dictionary.com
also homoeo-, word-forming element meaning "similar to," Latinized from Greek homio-, from homoios "like, resembling, of the same kind; equal," related to or an expanded form of homos "one and the same," from PIE *sem- (1) "one, as one" (see same).
homeomorphism (n.) Look up homeomorphism at Dictionary.com
1854, from homeomorphous (1832), from homeo- + morphous (see morphic); originally of crystals. Homeomorphic is from 1902.