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

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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

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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

The bot dug under the salty, dry soil of the Atacama, and often came up empty. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "A Rover Finds Life in Mars-Like Barrenness in South America," 28 Feb. 2019 Since then, a dearth of financing for new condominium construction, compounded by legal hurdles in some markets, has shifted developers’ focus to rental buildings popular with empty-nesters looking for convenience and flexibility. Cecilie Rohwedder, WSJ, "The Latest Housing Hotspot: Downtown and by the River," 6 Dec. 2018 TPMs are abundant in PC laptops and in corporate desktops, but they are often omitted from enthusiast systems and motherboards—while lots of boards have a slot for the TPM, it's usually left empty. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Mac mini review—a testament to Apple’s stubbornness," 23 Nov. 2018 The development would target aging empty-nesters who want to sell their homes but stay in the North Shore area. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Mandel Group's disputed River Hills luxury apartment proposal returns in downsized form," 6 July 2018 Supporters say the change would allow empty-nesters to move more easily by keeping their property taxes low, which could free up housing in high-demand areas. Melody Gutierrez, SFChronicle.com, "Gas taxes, cage-free chickens and a chopped-up California top fall ballot," 3 July 2018 The development targets empty-nesters and professionals looking to downsize, according to a staff report to the council. David Ibata, ajc, "Johns Creek OKs townhomes on McGinnis Ferry," 29 June 2018 Only with this new, empty-nester mentality will Hill and McGraw consider a joint, full-time gig on the road. Emily Davies, PEOPLE.com, "Faith Hill Says She and Tim McGraw Are Preparing to Be Empty-Nesters: 'Our Daughters Have Their Own Lives Now'," 20 June 2018 When including new buildings now in lease-up, about 1 in 10 apartments in the city are sitting empty, while Seattle rents over the past year have grown at about the same rate as inflation. Mike Rosenberg, The Seattle Times, "Seattle construction still booming and won’t end anytime soon," 19 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Walking through the metal detectors at Wrigley Field, people are asked to empty their pockets of keys, cell phones and wallets. Bobby Nightengale, Cincinnati.com, "Joey Votto has trouble making it past Wrigley Field security before Cincinnati Reds game," 7 July 2018 The plan was to empty the Woodbridge store, starting in the back and pushing all of the toys to the front. Michael Corkery, New York Times, "At Toys ‘R’ Us, ‘There Is Nothing Left’: The Day It Closed for Good," 30 June 2018 As a result, Hernandez was able to empty his bench in the last two innings. Jason Mcdaniel, Houston Chronicle, "Klein Oak rolls past Aldine Davis to advance to area round," 3 May 2018 Instead, little ones often wear special pants with a generous opening in the crotch, called kai dang ku, which allows them to empty their bladders whenever and wherever the mood strikes. Bonnie Vengrow, Good Housekeeping, "6 Parenting Tips From Around The World That Only Sound Crazy To Americans," 21 July 2016 His parents emptied their retirement accounts and mortgaged their home to hire new attorneys and investigators, but the verdict was upheld in a state appeals court. Lyndsay Winkley, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Did crimes committed by Golden State Killer send Carlsbad man to prison for 39 years?," 30 Apr. 2018 Both dugouts emptied, but no punches were thrown (although there were some hugs). Pete Grathoff, kansascity, "Chicago Tribune writer blasts Salvador Perez after Royals-White Sox dust-up | The Kansas City Star," 29 Apr. 2018 The Atascocita dugout immediately emptied as the Eagles mobbed Taylor at first base. Elliott Lapin, Houston Chronicle, "Atascocita's DJ Taylor's walk-off hit ends Summer Creek's 13-game winning streak," 24 Mar. 2018 Beyers emptied the bench midway through the fourth quarter. Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star, "No. 1 Warren Central survives Ben Davis, hammers Terre Haute South for regional title," 10 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 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

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

13 Mar 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 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.

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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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