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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Commercial real-estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. said separately that its measure of the vacancy rate for U.S. industrial real estate ticked up slightly to 5% in the first quarter while rent growth slowed. Jennifer Smith, WSJ, "Warehouse Availability Stabilizes in Tight U.S. Logistics Market," 18 Apr. 2019 There are currently 122 vacancies on district courts and circuit courts of appeals for Trump to fill, out of 856 total. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "The Senate is a huge problem for Democrats," 8 Nov. 2018 Under this scenario there is no vacancy but there still would be a considerable intensifier for Democratic voters. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Will a justice delayed be a justice denied?," 19 Sep. 2018 The mayor interviews three candidates for each vacancy and selects one. Corinne Ramey, WSJ, "Court Officials Blast Mayor de Blasio for Delays on Judges," 2 Jan. 2019 The first case involves now-federal appeals court Judge William Pryor, whom Trump also considered for the Supreme Court vacancy to which Kavanaugh is being appointed. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "The Brett Kavanaugh perjury controversy, explained by 4 legal scholars," 7 Sep. 2018 As a bonus, after Gorsuch’s nomination, a White House official named two more Kennedy clerks— Kavanaugh and Raymond Kethledge—as leading contenders for a future Supreme Court vacancy. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Confirmed: The Supreme Court Is Just Another White Boys’ Club," 10 July 2018 Hardiman was a runner-up for the vacancy ultimately filled by Gorsuch. Catherine Lucey, Zeke Miller And Ken Thomas, Houston Chronicle, "Trump weighs 2 or 3 candidates for court, to meet with Pence," 6 July 2018 He was considered for the last Supreme Court vacancy, but didn’t meet with Trump then. Bloomberg, Fortune, "Trump Has Already Interviewed These 4 Possible Replacements for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy," 3 July 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about vacancy

Dictionary Entries near vacancy





vacancy clause



Statistics for vacancy

Last Updated

19 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vacancy

The first known use of vacancy was in 1598

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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 strong desire or propensity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!