va·​can·​cy ˈvā-kən(t)-sē How to pronounce vacancy (audio)
plural vacancies
: a vacant office, post, or tenancy
: a vacating of an office, post, or piece of property
: the time such office or property is vacant
: physical or mental inactivity or relaxation : idleness
: empty space : void
specifically : an unoccupied site for an atom or ion in a crystal
: the state of being vacant : vacuity
archaic : an interval of leisure

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 In Charlotte’s case, the vacancy was filled by the Charlotte Bobcats which were later renamed the Charlotte Hornets again, and Baltimore got the Ravens, which had relocated from Cleveland. Corina Vanek, The Arizona Republic, 17 Apr. 2024 Briggs, who spoke prior to Smith’s departure for Portland, said the recent vacancies have given the department and the city something of a clean slate. Libor Jany, Los Angeles Times, 16 Apr. 2024 When a college men’s basketball blue-blood program — such as Kentucky this past week — has a rare head-coach opening, odds are the vacancy will be filled promptly. Gary Bedore, Kansas City Star, 15 Apr. 2024 The vacancy rate for office space in downtown Detroit was 19.4% in the first quarter of this year, up from just under 13% in late 2019, according to past market reports from the Newmark real estate firm. Detroit Free Press, 15 Apr. 2024 This 168-unit complex in the Gaslamp Quarter, completed in 2020, has a vacancy rate of 21 percent. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Apr. 2024 The vacancy rate was 36.7% in the first quarter, up from 35.6% in the fourth quarter. George Avalos, The Mercury News, 10 Apr. 2024 Since the start of the pandemic, vacancy rates have risen by more than 10% in Austin and San Francisco, but for very different reasons. Byalena Botros, Fortune, 9 Apr. 2024 Its downtown office vacancy rates climbed above 25 percent. Robin Pogrebin, New York Times, 9 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'vacancy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 6

Time Traveler
The first known use of vacancy was in 1598

Dictionary Entries Near vacancy

Cite this Entry

“Vacancy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


va·​can·​cy ˈvā-kən-sē How to pronounce vacancy (audio)
plural vacancies
: something (as an office or hotel room) that is vacant
: empty space
: the state of being vacant

More from Merriam-Webster on vacancy

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