va·cant | \ˈvā-kənt \

Definition of vacant 

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

6a : not put to use vacant land

b : having no heir or claimant : abandoned a vacant estate

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Other Words from vacant

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

Examples of vacant in a Sentence

These lockers are all vacant. The seat was left vacant when the secretary resigned. He had a vacant expression on his face.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The 50,000-square-foot building at 4023-4027 N. Oakland Ave. has been vacant since March 2017, when the Nehring family decided to close the Sendik's grocery store after 90 years in Shorewood. Jeff Rumage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Former Sendik's building in Shorewood could become medical clinic," 13 July 2018 The eliminated lieutenant and fire prevention bureau job were vacant. Rick Kambic,, "Mundelein adds 3 new firefighter positions; officials say overtime costs will go down," 12 July 2018 Tepper plans to hire a president to run the Panthers’ business operations — a position that has been vacant since Danny Morrison left abruptly in 2017. Joseph Person, charlotteobserver, "Owner David Tepper: Panthers blessed with Ron Rivera, 'a pretty good football side'," 10 July 2018 According to the district’s website, two of the 11 committee seats are vacant. Lauryn Schroeder,, "S.D. school district board sends $3.5 billion bond to November ballot," 10 July 2018 The job has been vacant since Hope Hicks resigned in February. Washington Post,, "Former Fox executive Bill Shine joins White House as communications chief," 5 July 2018 The position has been vacant since 2005 when then assistant township administrator Judi Boyko was promoted to administrator. Sue Kiesewetter,, "After 13 years, West Chester fills asst. administrator vacancy," 28 June 2018 The position of White House communications director has been vacant since the departure of Hope Hicks in late March. NBC News, "Former Fox News president in talks to be next White House communications director," 27 June 2018 The houses have been vacant for many years and are deteriorating. Nancy Trejos, USA TODAY, "These are the USA's 11 most endangered historic places," 26 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of vacant

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for vacant

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"

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Phrases Related to vacant

situations vacant

vacant lot

vacant possession

Statistics for vacant

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vacant

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

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More Definitions for vacant



English Language Learners Definition of vacant

: not filled, used, or lived in

of a job or position : not occupied by a person : available to be taken by someone

: showing no indication of what someone is thinking, feeling, etc.


va·cant | \ˈvā-kənt \

Kids Definition of vacant

1 : not filled, used, or lived in a vacant house a vacant lot a vacant job position

2 : showing a lack of thought or expression vacant eyes

3 : free from duties or care vacant hours

Other Words from vacant

vacantly adverb



Legal Definition of vacant 

1 : not filled or occupied

2a : not put to use vacant land

b : having no heir or claimant a vacant estate

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More from Merriam-Webster on vacant

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vacant

Spanish Central: Translation of vacant

Nglish: Translation of vacant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vacant for Arabic Speakers

Comments on vacant

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not any or not one

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