va·can·cy | \ˈvā-kən(t)-sē \
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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Synonyms & Antonyms for vacancy


bareness, emptiness, vacantness, vacuity


fullness (also fulness)

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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

The government has struggled to find new Supreme Court candidates from a bench that broadly feels its independence is slipping away: As of Wednesday, only two people had applied to fill the 55 vacancies on the court. Drew Hinshaw, WSJ, "Poland Steps Up Supreme Court Purge," 13 July 2018 On the face of it, the vacancy to become chief executive of Lululemon doesn’t ooze appeal. The Economist, "Despite falling foul of the #MeToo movement, Lululemon is soaring," 12 July 2018 The Bill Hader comedy helps fill the HBO vacancy left by Veep, but not by much. Michael O'connell, The Hollywood Reporter, "Emmys: How Netflix Edged HBO and What It Means for This Year's Race," 12 July 2018 The United States has been consumed with the one vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. Monika Nalepa, Washington Post, "Poland may forcibly ‘retire’ dozens of Supreme Court justices," 10 July 2018 Kavanaugh once clerked for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose retirement at the end of the month created the vacancy that Kavanaugh hopes to fill. Daniela Altimari,, "Who Is Brett Kavanaugh? The Yale Grad Is Trump's Second Supreme Court Pick," 10 July 2018 President Donald Trump’s top contenders for the vacancy appear to be federal appeals judges Amy Coney Barrett, Thomas Hardiman, Brett Kavanaugh and Raymond Kethledge. Kevin Freking, The Seattle Times, "What to expect in the Supreme Court confirmation battle," 9 July 2018 Donnelly, Manchin and Heitkamp met with Trump at the White House last month to discuss the vacancy. Maureen Groppe, Indianapolis Star, "Donnelly declines invitation to be at White House as Trump announces Supreme Court nominee," 9 July 2018 Kevin also wrote an interesting article about how the Supreme Court vacancy is already playing out in Facebook ads. Daisuke Wakabayashi, New York Times, "The Week in Tech: Facebook Is Disinvited From July Fourth Barbecues," 6 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.

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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

6 Oct 2018

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

: 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 \
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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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