vacant

adjective

va·​cant ˈvā-kənt How to pronounce vacant (audio)
1
: not occupied by an incumbent, possessor, or officer
a vacant office
vacant thrones
2
: being without content or occupant
a vacant seat on a bus
a vacant room
3
: free from activity or work : disengaged
vacant hours
4
: devoid of thought, reflection, or expression
a vacant smile
5
: not lived in
vacant houses
6
a
: not put to use
vacant land
b
: having no heir or claimant : abandoned
a vacant estate
vacantly adverb
vacantness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for vacant

empty, vacant, blank, void, vacuous mean lacking contents which could or should be present.

empty suggests a complete absence of contents.

an empty bucket

vacant suggests an absence of appropriate contents or occupants.

a vacant apartment

blank stresses the absence of any significant, relieving, or intelligible features on a surface.

a blank wall

void suggests absolute emptiness as far as the mind or senses can determine.

a statement void of meaning

vacuous suggests the emptiness of a vacuum and especially the lack of intelligence or significance.

a vacuous facial expression

Example Sentences

These lockers are all vacant. The seat was left vacant when the secretary resigned. He had a vacant expression on his face.
Recent Examples on the Web By necessity, speaker wannabes start jockeying for the job long before it’s due to be vacant. George Skelton, Los Angeles Times, 14 Nov. 2022 One of those positions, a research office director, is vacant, Hruby told The Courier Journal in early October. Mandy Mclaren, The Courier-Journal, 10 Nov. 2022 The seat has been vacant since March, when Belinda Queen left the school board to run for county council. Nicole Asbury, Washington Post, 9 Nov. 2022 TikTok’s top consumer marketing job had been vacant since the departure of Nick Tran, a former Hulu executive who held the role from April 2020 until January 2022, a spokeswoman said. Katie Deighton, WSJ, 8 Nov. 2022 Levi, sporting the midlength hair and attitude of an overaged burnout, has just moved into an apartment that’s apparently been vacant for 10 years. K. Austin Collins, Rolling Stone, 4 Nov. 2022 That led the Illinois General Assembly to pass a law empowering Secretary of State Jesse White to make appointments to library board seats that are vacant for more than 90 days. Caroline Kubzansky, Chicago Tribune, 4 Nov. 2022 Over the weekend, Allen’s home was vacant, with curtains drawn, lights turned off, and no cars in the driveway. Drew Iden, CNN, 2 Nov. 2022 Some of these properties are vacant, while others contain houses that will need to be rehabilitated. al, 1 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vacant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English vacaunt, borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin vacant-, vacans, present participle of vacāre "to be empty or unoccupied, have space, be free,"; perhaps akin to Hittite wakkāari "lacks," wakšyi- "be lacking"

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of vacant was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near vacant

Cite this Entry

“Vacant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vacant. Accessed 27 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

vacant

adjective

va·​cant ˈvā-kənt How to pronounce vacant (audio)
1
: not filled, used, or lived in
a vacant house
2
: free from duties or care
a few vacant hours
3
: showing lack of thought
a vacant stare
vacantly adverb

Legal Definition

vacant

adjective

va·​cant
1
: not filled or occupied
2
a
: not put to use
vacant land
b
: having no heir or claimant
a vacant estate

More from Merriam-Webster on vacant

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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