Let's say that there is a wall which is, for lack of a better word, "hollowed out". Hollowed here meaning a chunk is removed to leave behind an empty space (orange coloured block) in the image. Now, you cannot call this hollowed out as it would imply that the entire exterior is intact and an empty space is created in the interior. But in this instance, a part of the exterior along with the interior is removed out. What will you call this ?

e.g. sentence - The wall had been "______" to make space for the new installation.

The Image in Question

  • 1
    'Hollow out' necessarily involves removal of some outer material (unless there is a pre-existing hole) and is often used to describe your example. Think of hollowing out a half-melon. Aug 27, 2016 at 16:42
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    @EdwinAshworth: Yes but it does not imply to the extent that I'm showing in the image. To support my point, I will suggest searching for images of "Hollowed out Gourd".
    – user96551
    Aug 27, 2016 at 16:47
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    Recess: A hollow space inside something.
    – Joe Dark
    Aug 27, 2016 at 18:01
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    Your sentence may be rewritten: "A wall niche had been made to make space for the new installation".
    – Graffito
    Aug 27, 2016 at 19:26
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    @JoeDark I think recessed is spot on and would up vote if you made it an answer.
    – Spagirl
    Aug 27, 2016 at 21:09

2 Answers 2


Another possibility is to use the phrasal verb to cut outDictionary

Excise, remove as if by cutting; also, form or shape as if by cutting or carving

Your sentence would look like:

The wall had been cut out to make space for the new installation.

One more example from the Internet:

You can cut a hole out of the wall using a drywall saw or a keyhole saw.



From M-W:

excavate verb

Definition of excavate for Students

excavated; excavating

2 : to hollow out : form a hole in : Workers excavated the side of a hill.

  • 1
    This sounds quite wrong to me. Excavation involves digging.
    – TonyK
    Aug 29, 2016 at 12:12

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