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 After David Souter retired in 2009, Scalia privately lobbied one of Barack Obama’s top White House aides to name Kagan to fill the vacancy. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Elena Kagan’s Fiery Defense of the Administrative State," 2 July 2020 But the Lakers already signed J.R. Smith on Wednesday to fill Bradley’s vacancy. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, "NBA restart: Are the Lakers or Clippers better prepared to resume the season?," 2 July 2020 As long as Donald Trump is President and Mitch McConnell is the Senate Majority Leader, any vacancy on the Court will be filled with a similarly anti-Roe Justice—right up to the day both men leave their posts. Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker, "John Roberts Dissociates Himself from the Trump-McConnell Legal Project," 30 June 2020 The Elmbrook School Board appointed Mushar Hassan to fill the vacancy that evening. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brookfield woman sues Elmbrook School District claiming violation of state open records law," 24 June 2020 So far, Dallas-Fort Worth is the top-performing market, with a lower vacancy rate and the smallest declines in rental rates. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "Texas apartment markets will slowly rebound," 22 June 2020 The apartment vacancy rate in San Francisco rose to 6.2% in May, according to apartment data firm RealPage. Will Parker, WSJ, "Once Booming San Francisco Apartment Market Goes in Reverse," 18 June 2020 The palpable energy points to what could be a seismic shift for an area that had 50% vacancy as recently as May 2018. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "U.S. Supreme Court decision protects LGBTQ workers – but Ohio advocates say more work is needed: The Wake Up for Tuesday, June 16, 2020," 16 June 2020 Stewart is the newest member of the board, appointed by Gov. Kay Ivey in January to fill the vacancy left when longtime state board member Ella Bell died in November. al, "Alabama educators debate equal justice training for K-12 schools," 16 June 2020

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

5 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Vacancy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for vacancy


How to pronounce vacancy (audio)

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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