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 Bonta took office in April to fill a vacancy and faces several more conservative challengers in next year's election., 10 June 2021 In 1984, Wallace appointed Patterson to a vacancy on the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals. Phillip Rawls, Star Tribune, 5 June 2021 The former deputy clerk/auditor is taking over for Ameilia Powers Gardner, who won a special election to fill a vacancy on the county commission. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 2 June 2021 And this race may prove to be one of the few competitive elections to fill a vacancy ahead of next year’s midterms. New York Times, 1 June 2021 But in small departments, background investigators may not know how to identify or get around these agreements — Navasota believed its agreement had planted a warning to other agencies — or may be desperate to fill a vacancy. James Barragán, Dallas News, 14 May 2021 Susan Wright, the candidate Trump endorsed in the race to fill a vacancy caused by the death of her husband, finished first. Eric Zorn,, 4 May 2021 Before leaving town, Kaminski told the landlord of several of the cottages to call him if there was ever a vacancy. John Wilkens, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Apr. 2021 The American Accountability Foundation believes McReynolds is a Democrat, and her confirmation to the board as an independent could allow Democrats to fill a vacancy later with another Democrat, illegally stacking the board in their favor. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, 22 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for vacancy

Time Traveler

The first known use of vacancy was in 1598

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Statistics for vacancy

Last Updated

12 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vacancy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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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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