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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from vacant

vacantly adverb
vacantness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for vacant



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Then Stutts, Davis and an ally won a new election to fill those vacant seats. Isaac Arnsdorf, ProPublica, 2 Sep. 2021 Meanwhile, council continues to review a new charter amendment that will place some time limits on appointments to vacant seats, as well as allow for the vacancy to come before voters in the nearest municipal, general or primary election. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, 24 Aug. 2021 Union and Hough joined the show for Season 14, replacing the vacant seats left by judges Mel B and Heidi Klum. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 12 Aug. 2021 There will be no such uproar from 20,000 vacant seats at a brand-new stadium in the Ariake district. David Wharton, Los Angeles Times, 25 July 2021 During their procession into the stadium, athletes wore masks and waved to vacant seats in a 68,000-seat venue where only 950 spectators were allowed. Rachel Blount, Star Tribune, 23 July 2021 That kitchen table looked empty with just us two, the kids’ seats vacant. Kristan Higgins, Good Housekeeping, 22 July 2021 Three new members will join the Arizona Board of Regents to fill vacant seats on the body that oversees the state’s three public universities. Alison Steinbach, The Arizona Republic, 20 July 2021 President Biden in February nominated three people to serve on that board, after Democrats pushed the White House to fill the vacant board seats in hopes that the new picks would help oust Mr. DeJoy amid criticism over mail-delivery delays. Sadie Gurman, WSJ, 3 June 2021

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.

See More

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"

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About vacant

Time Traveler for vacant

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near vacant

vacancy clause



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for vacant

Last Updated

17 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vacant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for vacant



English Language Learners Definition of vacant

: not filled, used, or lived in
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on vacant

Nglish: Translation of vacant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vacant for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!