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


bare, blank, clean, devoid, empty, stark, toom [chiefly Scottish], vacuous, void



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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

The agreements also would allow the Heat to eventually convert either to a two-way contract, but, for the moment, leaves those two slots vacant. Ira Winderman,, "Heat sign Chris Silva, Jeremiah Martin to camp contracts," 12 July 2019 Senators also quizzed Milley about the significant number of Pentagon jobs that are vacant or being held by leaders in acting positions without Senate confirmation. Washington Post, "General: Early Afghanistan troop pullout would be mistake," 12 July 2019 To what degree the Sox can improve hinges on the July 31 trade deadline, their last chance to improve the pitching staff by either adding a relief pitcher or obtaining a reliable starting pitcher for the vacant fifth spot. Peter Abraham,, "Alex Cora confident Red Sox ‘will play better’ in second half," 11 July 2019 Baltimore fire crews found a body Thursday morning after responding to a vacant house fire in the Johnston Square neighborhood, officials said. Lillian Reed,, "Baltimore fire crews find body in Johnston Square house fire," 11 July 2019 Newcastle's absolute circus of an offseason trudges on with the latest news concerning Sam Allardyce, Steve Bruce, and the vacant managerial role at St James' Park., "Steve Bruce Asks to Speak With Newcastle About Becoming New Manager as Sam Allardyce Rejects Role," 11 July 2019 Mission Bay’s other vacant parcels are reserved for affordable housing and additional buildings owned by UCSF, according to city plans. Roland Li,, "SF’s Mission Bay is almost complete, as last commercial site seeks approval," 11 July 2019 Since taking the seat left vacant when the United States withdrew from the council last year, Iceland has actively supported several contentious resolutions that many other nations have avoided, for fear of retaliation by powerful states. New York Times, "U.N. Rights Council to Investigate Killings in Philippine Drug War," 11 July 2019 The now-vacant site has long been seen as a prime area for development, because of its location between the two neighborhoods. Shayndi Raice, WSJ, "Activists Try to Stop a Huge Chicago Development Over $1.3 Billion in Tax Incentives," 11 July 2019

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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Statistics for vacant

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

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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
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

Comments on vacant

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