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

Bloomberg also reported that real estate agents say some homeowners are eager to rent their properties after the city adopted a new Empty Homes Tax on vacant properties. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Vancouver College Students Are Renting Mansions on the Cheap as the City Fights for Affordable Housing," 18 Apr. 2019 According to Joanna, she and Chip had bought their then-home, a vacant foreclosure, and renovated the property in a whopping three months before ultimately moving in. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "Joanna Gaines Finally Met the Woman Who's Responsible for 'Fixer Upper'," 7 Apr. 2019 Know how long the space has been occupied or vacant. Eric Whitmer, House Beautiful, "What You Should Know Before Buying A Mid-Century Modern Home," 5 Apr. 2019 Into rehab In the case of the Whiterock district, much of the focus would be on rehabilitating properties that have become outdated or hopelessly out of repair, as well as filling in vacant land. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Waukesha aldermen sign on to plan to rehabilitate Whiterock Avenue neighborhood," 20 June 2018 The special elections will fill the seats left vacant after former Sen. Frank Lasee (R-De Pere) and former Rep. Keith Ripp (R-Lodi) stepped down in December to join Walker’s administration. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Will Democrats' string of victories shake Republican confidence heading into fall races?," 13 June 2018 Tinsley will be filling a role left vacant by Michael Anton, who stepped down earlier this year after Bolton's predecessor, H.R. McMaster, was fired. Kaitlan Collins, CNN, "Bolton adds two loyalists to the National Security Council," 29 May 2018 Last week, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow confirmed reports that former presidential candidate and onetime CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, Herman Cain, is being considered for a vacant Federal Reserve governor seat. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "Herman Cain Is on a Thin Crust," 4 Feb. 2019 Some have started to bandy about the names of esteemed designers currently without commitments—Philo, Alber Elbaz, Stefano Pilati, Christopher Bailey—in regards to the vacant seat at the head of the CK empire. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "11 Reasons to Be Excited About The Year in Fashion," 4 Jan. 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

20 May 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

What made you want to look up vacant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that collects or salvages junk

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