va·​can·​cy | \ ˈvā-kən(t)-sē How to pronounce vacancy (audio) \
plural vacancies

Definition of vacancy

1 : a vacant office, post, or tenancy
2a : a vacating of an office, post, or piece of property
b : the time such office or property is vacant
3 : physical or mental inactivity or relaxation : idleness
4 : empty space : void specifically : an unoccupied site for an atom or ion in a crystal
5 : the state of being vacant : vacuity
6 archaic : an interval of leisure

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Examples of vacancy in a Sentence

School administrators are trying to fill vacancies before the beginning of the school year. There were no vacancies at the hotel.

Recent Examples on the Web

Gordon will retire if told by the White House that Trump wants someone else in the deputy’s role who could then rise to fill the vacancy created when Coats departs, according to officials. Charlie Savage,, "Trump’s pick for intelligence chief backs out," 2 Aug. 2019 Salem Republican Raquel Moore-Green was sworn into office Thursday to represent House District 19, filling a vacancy created when former Rep. Denyc Boles was appointed to a state Senate seat. Hillary Borrud | The Oregonian/oregonlive,, "Oregon’s newest Republican state representative sworn into office," 25 July 2019 Applications are now being accepted until July 31 to fill the vacancy created in the wake of Commissioner Richard Drazner’s dead in April. Elizabeth Owens-schiele,, "Buffalo Grove Park District seeking to fill board vacancy: ‘This is a true citizen volunteer position’," 18 July 2019 The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the auto industry will have to hire 76,000 new auto technicians each year to fill vacancies created by retirements and workers who switch careers. Ron Hurtibise,, "Auto mechanic shortage prompts hiring call from AutoNation," 24 June 2019 Office vacancies in downtown Calgary, Alberta’s business capital, have jumped from zero in 2007 to over 25%. The Economist, "The environmentThe environment is Canada’s biggest wedge issue," 27 July 2019 Then there’s the delay: Both states would have special elections that take place months after vacancy, which means a President Warren or Sanders could be down one Senate Dem during their honeymoon phase. NBC News, "How Mueller's congressional testimony could reverberate in 2020," 23 July 2019 Even in markets with greater vacancies, such as the Katy Freeway and Texas 6 area, small-business owners who want to be near where employees live are driving leasing deals. Katherine Feser, Houston Chronicle, "Developer starts twin office building in Katy area," 19 July 2019 Whenever there is a managerial vacancy, Curbishley's name will always appear on the list of possible candidates., "Newcastle: 10 Managerial Candidates Mike Ashley (Probably) Considered Before Steve Bruce," 19 July 2019

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

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 6

History and Etymology for vacancy

vac(ant) + -ancy, in part after Medieval Latin vacantia

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Learn More about vacancy

Dictionary Entries near vacancy





vacancy clause



Statistics for vacancy

Last Updated

11 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vacancy

The first known use of vacancy was in 1598

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More Definitions for vacancy



English Language Learners Definition of vacancy

formal : a job or position that is available to be taken
: a room in a hotel, motel, etc., that is available for use


va·​can·​cy | \ ˈvā-kən-sē How to pronounce vacancy (audio) \
plural vacancies

Kids Definition of vacancy

1 : something (as an office or hotel room) that is vacant
2 : empty space
3 : the state of being vacant

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Comments on vacancy

What made you want to look up vacancy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a period when something is suspended

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