empty

adjective
emp·​ty | \ ˈem(p)-tē \
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

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Other Words from empty

Adjective

emptily \ ˈem(p)-​tə-​lē \ adverb
emptiness \ ˈem(p)-​tē-​nəs \ 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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Unplug, empty the humidifier, and disassemble it completely. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean a Humidifier, According to the Good Housekeeping Institute," 4 Jan. 2019 Biofuel tax credits, charging stations for Teslas, and light-rail lines that probably will run mostly empty? The Editorial Board, WSJ, "You Call That ‘Infrastructure’?," 3 Jan. 2019 At the time, NFL franchises across the country were scrambling to fill empty seats by upgrading stadiums, an effort that included providing free Wi-Fi. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Huawei Had a Deal to Give Washington Redskins Fans Free Wi-Fi, Until the Government Stepped In," 24 Dec. 2018 Hiram and Hermione discuss exposing Sierra's affair with Sheriff Keller, but Veronica gets to the mayor first, convincing her to come clean about the relationship and step down as mayor, leaving a nice empty seat open for yet another Lodge puppet. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "A Comprehensive List of All of Hiram Lodge's Schemes on "Riverdale"," 13 Dec. 2018 Because most flights take off with empty seats, a majority are oversold. Aditi Shrikant, Vox, "Why airlines are allowed to overbook their flights," 14 Nov. 2018 True to form, there wasn’t an empty seat in the house. Maria Ward, Vogue, "Lin-Manuel Miranda, Laura Benanti, and More Attend the Opening of Shakespeare in the Park’s Twelfth Night," 1 Aug. 2018 Got to the airport (LAX) with time to spare ☺ Flew in a small plane, ½ empty, with 4 colleagues = cool! Alissa Walker, Curbed, "Getting around the Bay Area with Chanell Fletcher," 21 Dec. 2018 In the Kitchen's chapter of her book, Joanna shares the story of a client's corner at the far end of the room that would become a few feet of empty, unused space. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "4 Joanna Gaines Design Secrets You'll Want To Steal," 7 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The loss hit Wilson more personally a few days after the election when her house—which had functioned as her campaign headquarters—emptied out. Julie Zeilinger, Marie Claire, "The Women Who Ran...and Lost," 24 Oct. 2018 All along the sidewalk were piles of artwork, antiques, and boxes as owners emptied out their inventory to take to higher ground. Jeffrey Collins, Fox News, "After the hurricane comes the deluge on South Carolina coast," 25 Sep. 2018 The semi-annual event is a dream for shoppers everywhere, with the beauty store offering steep discounts, special goodies, in-store events, and enough sale items to empty out every penny I had ever saved in my piggybank. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "21 Days of Beauty at Ulta Might Be Starting on September 2," 22 Aug. 2018 While emptying out his car, Schulhof removed a loaded gun, police said. Alexandra Kukulka, chicagotribune.com, "Court proceedings continue for former hall monitor charged with carrying gun on school property," 11 July 2018 No cash means no register for robbers to empty out, no bills for workers to slip into their pockets and no change counting holding up lines. Fenit Nirappil, Washington Post, "As restaurants go cashless, a backlash is building. Will D.C. intervene?," 9 July 2018 Congregants asked no questions about the financial accounting, and the church emptied out quickly. Silvia Foster-frau, San Antonio Express-News, "Sutherland Springs receives millions in donations to massacre relief fund," 8 July 2018 Henry County police told Channel 2 Action News the teens smashed a window at Castle Jewelry on North Henry Boulevard in Stockbridge on June 2 and emptied out multiple cases of jewelry. Zachary Hansen, ajc, "2 teens accused of casing store, then returning 3 days later to steal jewelry," 15 June 2018 Videographer Jeff Venable obtained permission from the city, as well as cooperation from all of Lower Broadway’s businesses, to empty out the blocks so Janson could take his place in front of a baby grand piano set in the middle of the street. Nancy Kruh, PEOPLE.com, "Why Chris Janson Wept When He Saw His New 'Drunk Girl' Music Video: 'This One Broke Me Down Quick'," 22 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 One of the Eagle River teens, Tatum J. Bertholl, reported being stranded on a sandbar near where Eska Creek empties into the Matanuska, according to an online troopers dispatch posted Tuesday. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Troopers helicopter crew rescues teens from Matanuska River sandbar," 12 June 2018 But the stench that Sánchez referred to comes from a sewage pipe that empties near the Muelle Real. Mario J. Pentón, miamiherald, "Pollution is destroying the environment and livelihood for residents in this Cuban city," 7 June 2018 Plaine Products Send your empties back with Plaine Products. Mandy Ferreira, Good Housekeeping, "The Best Places To Shop Online If You Want To Save Money And Live A Zero Waste Lifestyle," 24 Aug. 2017

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.

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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

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Statistics for empty

Last Updated

16 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for empty

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

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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 \
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.

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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

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