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 Yet the system’s board of managers agreed Aug. 25 to spend $13.4 million for a mostly vacant 80-acre tract of land, according to meeting minutes. Laura Garcia,, "University Health System scoops up land on Loop 1604 for future hospital," 25 Sep. 2020 The project takes the place of a vacant hotel and will likely become one of the first buildings many people see entering downtown near Little Italy. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Downtown San Diego construction continues at furious pace. Will it last?," 25 Sep. 2020 The quick listing and sale highlights the topsy-turvy nature of commercial-property markets six months after Covid-19 forced people to work from home, leaving skyscrapers and office parks vacant from New York to San Francisco. Noah Buhayar,, "Facebook Buys REI Headquarters, Showing Life for Offices," 15 Sep. 2020 Carriers are also instituting inconsistent policies on leaving middle seats vacant that aren’t backed by science. Bloomberg Wire, Dallas News, "Why boarding planes from back to front might actually heighten COVID risk," 1 Sep. 2020 Carriers are also instituting inconsistent policies on leaving middle seats vacant that aren’t backed by science. Alan Levin, Anchorage Daily News, "Airlines stumble ahead with coronavirus safety plans that may heighten risks," 31 Aug. 2020 Meanwhile, on the windward side, the mover may have exposed a formerly interior penguin to the boundary by leaving his old spot vacant. Quanta Magazine, "Math of the Penguins," 17 Aug. 2020 The population is shrinking as people move away, leaving one in five houses vacant, according to the U.‘s 2018 study, and home values dropping. Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Robert Gehrke: Utah should reinvent coal country, not gamble on propping it up," 13 Aug. 2020 The poor fish’s tongue withers into a useless nub, leaving the mouth vacant for the louse itself to physically take its place, helping its host move food around its mouth and grind big morsels down to size. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Fourteen Fun Facts About Love and Sex in the Animal Kingdom," 14 Feb. 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

28 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Vacant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 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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