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

But instead of rectifying problems with the auction — blight, vacancy, speculation and displacement — the program exacerbated these issues. Allie Gross, Detroit Free Press, "Lawsuits take aim at Wayne County's controversial Action Before Auction program," 3 Sep. 2019 Following interviews with eight applicants for the vacancy, each committee member ranked the candidates. oregonlive, "President Trump nominates Washington County’s presiding judge to fill vacancy on federal appeals court," 29 Aug. 2019 Barring appointments due to vacancies, council members are elected at-large by the voters. Thomas Jewell,, "Opponents of “strong mayor” ballot proposal warn against partisan politics in Cleveland Heights (Updated)," 19 Aug. 2019 Regardless of the governor’s choice to fill the vacancy, that person would have to stand for election next year. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "With senator’s death, Alaska Legislature loses prominent voice in favor of lower dividend," 9 Aug. 2019 To cover for the vacancies, overtime spending for corrections officers has risen sharply and totaled more than $110 million in 2018. Luke Broadwater,, "Maryland corrections officers, state employees protest over thousands of unfilled positions," 8 Aug. 2019 Viewing the role of academy coach as beneath him, Clough took up the managerial vacancy at Fourth Division Hartlepool United at the tender age of 30, bringing Taylor in as his right-hand man., "Brian Clough: He Wasn't the Best Manager in the Business, But He Was in the Top 1," 29 July 2019 That total includes a relief pool and additional stations and units and fills the current vacancies, which fluctuate between 30 and 50 positions. Lauryn Schroeder, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego firefighter overtime exceeds $46 million," 26 July 2019 Republicans are defending narrow majorities of 20-19 in the state Senate and 51-48 in the House of Delegates, with one vacancy in each chamber. Washington Post, "National gun control group launches campaign against suburban Republicans in Virginia," 21 Aug. 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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Dictionary Entries near vacancy





vacancy clause



Statistics for vacancy

Last Updated

8 Sep 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).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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