Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

empty

play
adjective emp·ty \ˈem(p)-tē\

Simple Definition of empty

  • : containing nothing

  • : not having any people : not occupied

  • : having no real purpose or value

Full Definition of empty

emp·ti·eremp·ti·est

  1. 1 a :  containing nothing <empty shelves> b :  not occupied or inhabited <an empty building> c :  unfrequented d :  not pregnant <empty heifer> e :  null 4a <the empty set>

  2. 2 a :  lacking reality, substance, meaning, or value :  hollow <an empty pleasure> b :  destitute of effect or force <an empty threat> c :  devoid of sense :  foolish

  3. 3 :  hungry

  4. 4 a :  idle <empty hours> b :  having no purpose or result :  useless

  5. 5 :  marked by the absence of human life, activity, or comfort <an empty silence>

emp·ti·ly play \-tə-lē\ adverb
emp·ti·ness play \-tē-nəs\ noun

Examples of empty

  1. The arena was completely empty.

  2. She felt trapped in an empty marriage.

  3. unhappy people leading empty lives



Origin of empty

Middle English, from Old English ǣmettig unoccupied, from ǣmetta leisure, perhaps from ǣ- without + -metta (probably akin to mōtan to have to) — more at must


First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of empty

empty, vacant, blank, void, vacuous mean lacking contents which could or should be present. empty suggests a complete absence of contents <an empty bucket>. vacant suggests an absence of appropriate contents or occupants <a vacant apartment>. blank stresses the absence of any significant, relieving, or intelligible features on a surface <a blank wall>. void suggests absolute emptiness as far as the mind or senses can determine <a statement void of meaning>. vacuous suggests the emptiness of a vacuum and especially the lack of intelligence or significance <a vacuous facial expression>.

synonyms see in addition vain


2

empty

verb emp·ty

Simple Definition of empty

  • : to remove the contents of (something) : to make (something) empty

  • : to remove all of (something) from a container

  • : to become empty

Full Definition of empty

emp·tiedemp·ty·ing

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to make empty :  remove the contents of <empty a purse> b :  deprive, divest <a phrase emptied of all meaning> c :  to discharge (itself) of contents d :  to fire (a repeating firearm) until empty

  3. 2 :  to remove from what holds or encloses

  4. intransitive verb
  5. 1 :  to become empty <the theater emptied quickly>

  6. 2 :  to discharge contents <the river empties into the ocean>

Examples of empty

  1. She emptied the contents of her purse onto the table.

  2. It's your turn to empty the trash.



1548

First Known Use of empty

1548


3

empty

noun emp·ty

Simple Definition of empty

  • : an empty bottle or can

Full Definition of empty

plural emp·ties

  1. :  something (as a bottle or can) that is empty

1865

First Known Use of empty

1865



EMPTY Defined for Kids

1

empty

play
adjective emp·ty \ˈemp-tē\

Definition of empty

emp·ti·eremp·ti·est

  1. 1 :  containing nothing <an empty box>

  2. 2 :  not occupied or lived in :  vacant <an empty house> <an empty seat>

  3. 3 :  not sincere or meaningful <an empty threat>

emp·ti·ness noun <the emptiness of outer space>



2

empty

play
verb emp·ty

Definition of empty

emp·tiedemp·ty·ing

  1. 1 :  to remove the contents of <Please empty the wastebasket.>

  2. 2 :  to remove all of (something) from a container <Empty the flour into the bin.>

  3. 3 :  to become unoccupied <The school quickly emptied.>

  4. 4 :  to flow into <The river empties into the gulf.>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up empty? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 5, 2016

bread traditionally eaten on Shabbat

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

kittly-benders spindrift pince-nez duvet
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ