va·​cant | \ ˈvā-kənt How to pronounce vacant (audio) \

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for vacant



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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 Officers responded to the Loganberry Ridge apartments May 12 for a report of a man climbing through a vacant apartment window. cleveland, "Man vandalizes two vehicles: Richmond Heights Police Blotter," 15 May 2020 In an interview with, Nijkamp confirmed Stam was the top candidate for the vacant permanent head coaching gig. Pat Brennan,, "Jeff Berding talks FC Cincinnati stadium, club seating, head-coaching search in West End," 15 May 2020 The lemme-pull-out-this-foam-rock set design, the other humans’ vacant presence, the inescapable sense that a multicultural adventure has become a duel between white dudes. Darren Franich,, "Ten years later, Lost's most tantalizing mysteries are still 'Across the Sea'," 11 May 2020 Two years ago, the little brick and glass store became vacant. Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times, "‘It’s not what this town is about’: Seal Beach’s Main Street struggles to come back," 8 May 2020 The majority sit vacant, changing the social structure of her town. The Christian Science Monitor, "Working thousands of miles from home – to build a new one," 7 May 2020 With April and May rent already past due, industry watchers worry a glut of vacant storefronts is on the horizon — or even a commercial mortgage crisis. NBC News, "What happens to Main Street when even the biggest retailers can't pay rent?," 6 May 2020 In some schools, all students can be spaced six feet apart, especially those where declining enrollment has left classrooms otherwise vacant. Alia Malik,, "San Antonio ISD superintendent plans to open schools Aug. 10," 5 May 2020 More than half of the senior positions are either vacant or filled on a temporary basis. Mark Olalde, USA TODAY, "Trump calls for national parks to reopen. Advocates say it's too soon," 29 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for vacant

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for vacant

Last Updated

19 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Vacant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for vacant


How to pronounce vacant (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of vacant

: not filled, used, or lived in
formal, 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 How to pronounce vacant (audio) \

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

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