1

empty

adjective emp·ty \ ˈem(p)-tē \
Updated on: 12 Nov 2017

Definition of empty

emptier; emptiest
1 a :containing nothing
  • empty shelves
b :not occupied or inhabited
  • an empty building
d :not pregnant
  • empty heifer
e :null 4a
  • the empty set
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 :hungry
4 a :idle
  • empty hours
b :having no purpose or result :useless
5 :marked by the absence of human life, activity, or comfort
  • an empty silence

emptily

play \ˈem(p)-tə-lē\ adverb

emptiness

play \ˈem(p)-tē-nəs\ noun

Examples of empty in a Sentence

  1. The arena was completely empty.

  2. She felt trapped in an empty marriage.

  3. unhappy people leading empty lives

Recent Examples of empty from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'empty.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology 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

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

Definition of empty

emptied; emptying
transitive verb
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
2 :to remove from what holds or encloses
intransitive verb
1 :to become empty
  • the theater emptied quickly
2 :to discharge contents
  • the river empties into the ocean

Examples of empty in a Sentence

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

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

Recent Examples of empty from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'empty.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of empty

before 12th century

empty Synonyms

Synonyms
clear, evacuate, vacate, void
Antonyms
fill, load
Related Words
deplete, drain, eliminate, exhaust, waste; bleed, draw (off); clean, flush, purge, scour, sweep

3

empty

noun

Definition of empty

plural empties
:something (such as a bottle or can) that is empty

Recent Examples of empty from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'empty.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of empty

1844



EMPTY Defined for English Language Learners

empty

adjective

Definition of empty for English Language Learners

  • : containing nothing

  • : not having any people : not occupied

  • : having no real purpose or value


empty

verb

Definition of empty for English Language Learners

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

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

  • : to become empty


empty

noun

Definition of empty for English Language Learners

  • : an empty bottle or can


EMPTY Defined for Kids

1

empty

adjective emp·ty \ ˈemp-tē \

Definition of empty for Students

emptier; emptiest
1 :containing nothing
  • an empty box
2 :not occupied or lived in :vacant
  • an empty house
  • an empty seat
3 :not sincere or meaningful
  • an empty threat

emptiness

noun
  • the emptiness of outer space

Synonym Discussion of empty

empty and vacant both mean not having anything inside. empty is used for a thing that has nothing in it at all.
    • He threw away the empty bag.
It may also be used instead of vacant.
    • The house sat empty until a new family moved in.
vacant is the opposite of occupied and is used of something that is not occupied usually only for a while.
    • That apartment is vacant right now.

2

empty

verb

Definition of empty for Students

emptied; emptying
1 :to remove the contents of
  • Please empty the wastebasket.
2 :to remove all of (something) from a container
  • Empty the flour into the bin.
3 :to become unoccupied
  • The school quickly emptied.
4 :to flow into
  • The river empties into the gulf.


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