evac·​u·​ate | \ i-ˈva-kyə-ˌwāt How to pronounce evacuate (audio) , -kyü-ˌāt\
evacuated; evacuating

Definition of evacuate

transitive verb

1 : to remove the contents of : empty
2 : to discharge from the body as waste : void
3 : to remove something (such as gas or water) from especially by pumping
4a : to remove especially from a military zone or dangerous area
b : to withdraw from military occupation of
c : vacate sense 1 were ordered to evacuate the building

intransitive verb

1 : to withdraw from a place in an organized way especially for protection
2 : to pass urine or feces from the body

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Other Words from evacuate

evacuative \ i-​ˈva-​kyə-​ˌwā-​tiv How to pronounce evacuative (audio) , -​kyü-​ˌā-​ \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for evacuate



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Examples of evacuate in a Sentence

People who live along the coast are being evacuated as the hurricane approaches. During World War II, children were evacuated from London to the country. Residents were ordered to evacuate the building. Residents have been ordered to evacuate.
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Recent Examples on the Web Surrounding apartments were temporarily evacuated, but the fire did not spread to any other unit, according to a Phoenix Fire Department news release. Nicole Soto, azcentral, "Police identify woman who died after being rescued from a fire in her Phoenix home," 10 Nov. 2019 By the end of it, more than 50,000 residents had been evacuated, 85 people were dead, and an astonishing 20,000 structures were torched into memory. Wired, "Depth of Field: The California Fires and the Foreboding Future of Now," 8 Nov. 2019 Per the Japan Times, authorities evacuated roughly 30 nearby residents but reported no injuries. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Fire Ravages Japanese Heritage Site Shuri Castle," 31 Oct. 2019 Thousands of residents have been evacuated, and even more are enduring blackouts as utilities cut power to prevent new blazes. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, "Embers Fly in California’s Wind-Driven Wildfires," 30 Oct. 2019 Thousands have had to evacuate their homes and there have been power outages in the midst of multiple fires including including the Kincade Fire, Tick Fire and Getty Fire. Lisa Respers France, CNN, "John Cena announces $500K donation to California fires first responders," 29 Oct. 2019 Thousands have had to evacuate their homes throughout the state, and thousands more have been left without power as a result of precautionary outages. Jasmine Aguilera, Time, "Here's What California's Kincade Wildfire Looks Like From Space," 28 Oct. 2019 The car was empty; the driver and passengers had evacuated. Joseph Clark, cleveland, "Car flips during police chase: Olmsted Township Police Blotter," 21 Oct. 2019 Abe pledged to do the utmost for the safety and rescue of those missing or those who had to evacuate. San Diego Union-Tribune, "More victims, more damage found in Japan typhoon aftermath," 15 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'evacuate.' 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 evacuate

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for evacuate

Middle English, to draw off morbid humors, from Latin evacuatus, past participle of evacuare to empty, from e- + vacuus empty

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Time Traveler for evacuate

Time Traveler

The first known use of evacuate was in the 15th century

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Statistics for evacuate

Last Updated

18 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Evacuate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/evacuating. Accessed 21 November 2019.

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More Definitions for evacuate


How to pronounce evacuate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of evacuate

: to remove (someone) from a dangerous place
: to leave (a dangerous place)
medical : to pass (solid waste) from your body


evac·​u·​ate | \ i-ˈva-kyə-ˌwāt How to pronounce evacuate (audio) \
evacuated; evacuating

Kids Definition of evacuate

1 : to leave or cause to leave a place of danger Residents evacuated the burning building.
2 : to make empty : empty out
3 : to discharge waste matter from the body


evac·​u·​ate | \ i-ˈvak-yə-ˌwāt How to pronounce evacuate (audio) \
evacuated; evacuating

Medical Definition of evacuate

transitive verb

1 : to remove the contents of evacuate an abscess
2 : to discharge (as urine or feces) from the body as waste : void

intransitive verb

: to pass urine or feces from the body

Other Words from evacuate

evacuative \ -​ˌwāt-​iv How to pronounce evacuative (audio) \ adjective

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