empty

adjective
emp·​ty | \ ˈem(p)-tē How to pronounce empty (audio) \
emptier; emptiest

Definition of empty

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : containing nothing empty shelves
b : not occupied or inhabited an empty building
d : not pregnant empty heifer
e : null sense 4a the empty set
2a : 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
4a : idle empty hours
b : having no purpose or result : useless
5 : marked by the absence of human life, activity, or comfort an empty silence

empty

verb
emptied; emptying

Definition of empty (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : 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

empty

noun
plural empties

Definition of empty (Entry 3 of 3)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from empty

Adjective

emptily \ ˈem(p)-​tə-​lē How to pronounce emptily (audio) \ adverb
emptiness \ ˈem(p)-​tē-​nəs How to pronounce emptiness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for empty

Synonyms: Adjective

bare, blank, clean, devoid, stark, toom [chiefly Scottish], vacant, vacuous, void

Synonyms: Verb

clear, evacuate, vacate, void

Antonyms: Adjective

full

Antonyms: Verb

fill, load

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for empty

Adjective

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

Adjective

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.

Examples of empty in a Sentence

Adjective

The arena was completely empty. She felt trapped in an empty marriage. unhappy people leading empty lives

Verb

She emptied the contents of her purse onto the table. It's your turn to empty the trash.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

According to the article, while mass-market brands typically mark down goods until their store shelves are completely empty, higher-end brands have been known to burn unsold products or bury them in landfills all to protect their image. Sara Radin, Teen Vogue, "France Says It Will Ban the Burning of Unsold Luxury Items," 16 May 2019 The home started out nearly empty and devoid of any real interior design elements. Rebekah Lowin, Country Living, "HGTV's 'A Very Brady Renovation' Is Coming So Soon: Here's What to Know," 11 May 2019 On a Thursday morning in April, Manhattan's Cipriani 42nd street is jarringly empty, a wide open dance floor and several un-set folding tables the only occupants of the spectacular, vaulted room. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "See How 32 Designers Transform a Dining Room in Just a Few Hours," 3 May 2019 My house may be empty, but new life has entered my life, having kids who are married and having kids of their own, and becoming a grandma. Amy Roloff, Good Housekeeping, "Read an Exclusive Excerpt From Amy Roloff's Book 'A Little Me'," 26 Apr. 2019 The room is nearly empty, and the usual throngs of tourists are nowhere to be found. Diana Nguyen, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Woman Behind New York’s Most Glamorous Closets," 22 Mar. 2019 Flavored specks that are found everywhere yet felt by no one; matter that seems solid but is actually mostly empty - this is the bizarre science of particle physics. Sarah Kaplan, chicagotribune.com, "In a cosmic first, scientists detect 'ghost particles' from a distant galaxy," 12 July 2018 South Korea booted the ball forward, and Son tracked it down with no German defenders back, and rolled it into the empty net. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "Germany Crashes Out of World Cup With a Loss to South Korea," 28 June 2018 Son tapped the ball into an empty net after a long pass from Ju Se-jong. Samuel Petrequin, chicagotribune.com, "Defending champions Germany eliminated from World Cup after losing Korea," 27 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The flight was delayed because the cargo hold of the jet had to be emptied of baggage and reloaded per FAA regulations. Author: Isabelle Ross, Anchorage Daily News, "Togiak man arrested after trying to climb into airplane cargo hold in Dillingham," 9 July 2018 That means someone at a recycling facility will have to empty the cans from the bag. Steve Harrison, charlotteobserver, "Charlotte's recycling 'is broken.' Could your plastic, paper be headed for a landfill?," 2 July 2018 The other eight cars, which aren’t leaking oil, were cleared from the track, but crews aren’t expected to be emptied until Wednesday. Washington Post, "Oil spill not expected to disrupt water supplies downstream," 25 June 2018 The Ducks then get a 1-6-3 double play, though, to empty the bases. Joel Odom, OregonLive.com, "NCAA softball live updates: Oregon Ducks eliminated by Florida State at Women's College World Series," 2 June 2018 But then trucks started appearing to empty the museum and building and defeat the mold problem. Karen Zurawski, Houston Chronicle, "Katy VFW post celebrates reopening," 23 May 2018 Arriaga’s son, Adrian, ran with the crowd as the school emptied out. Susan Carroll, David Hunn And Emily Foxhall, San Antonio Express-News, "Terrifying minutes in Santa Fe class room changed lives forever," 20 May 2018 Northwestern's leading scorer Ishmael Lane (20 points, 11 rebounds) fouled out with seven minutes remaining as the Privateers, who had 12 players score at least a point, emptied its bench in the victory. Joseph Halm, NOLA.com, "First-place UNO cruises against winless Northwestern," 1 Feb. 2018 The juvenile's backpack belongings were emptied onto an office table. John Benson, cleveland.com, "Underage drunk driver flips Jeep in Rite Aid parking lot: Broadview Heights Police Blotter," 26 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Schedule a free pick-up for your Loop Tote filled with empties. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Loop Store Will Refill Your Haagen-Dasz and Other Groceries, Cutting Down on Waste," 25 Mar. 2019 After her performance came to an end, no one left empty handed. Kendall Lindsay, Vogue, "Billie Eilish Performs at the Launch Party for Garage Magazine's Latest Issue," 6 Feb. 2019 When storing empties, nest smaller ones inside big ones. Good Housekeeping, "Rethink Your Food Storage," 10 Jan. 2011 Instead, the company has an app for drivers called Schneider Compass that directs him to the empties. Erica E. Phillips, WSJ, "Trucks Shift Into Higher Gear With New Technology," 25 July 2018 The idea of leaving floor space empty is a dramatic turnabout for an industry that historically raced to open more stores and expand its shelf space. Suzanne Kapner, WSJ, "Macy’s Radical Plan to Save Itself: Shrink," 12 Nov. 2018 At midnight, the lamp is brimming with illumination and empties, ready for another day. Arlene Hirst, New York Times, "What’s Hot (and Cool) in Home Lighting," 8 May 2018 Typically, the host nation empties noticeably between the two. Brian Straus, SI.com, "Panama's Lopsided Loss Won't Damper Party of Celebrating First World Cup," 18 June 2018 In response, fans of recreational abalone diving are paying professional divers to literally vacuum up the spiny creatures — which have little commercial value — from the sea floor with a fiberglass pipe that empties into a big net. Tara Duggan, San Francisco Chronicle, "Northern California divers try to save abalone population — with a giant sea urchin vacuum," 5 Apr. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of empty

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

1844, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for empty

Adjective

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about empty

Statistics for empty

Last Updated

22 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for empty

The first known use of empty was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for empty

empty

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of empty

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: containing nothing
: not having any people : not occupied
: having no real purpose or value

empty

verb

English Language Learners Definition of empty (Entry 2 of 3)

: to remove the contents of (something) : to make (something) empty
: to remove all of (something) from a container
: to become empty

empty

noun

English Language Learners Definition of empty (Entry 3 of 3)

: an empty bottle or can

empty

adjective
emp·​ty | \ ˈemp-tē How to pronounce empty (audio) \
emptier; emptiest

Kids Definition of empty

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

Other Words from empty

emptiness noun the emptiness of outer space

empty

verb
emptied; emptying

Kids Definition of empty (Entry 2 of 2)

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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on empty

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for empty

Spanish Central: Translation of empty

Nglish: Translation of empty for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of empty for Arabic Speakers

Comments on empty

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

a strong desire or propensity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!