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

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 As announced on Thursday, Dancing With the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba will be taking Julie Chen's vacant seat starting in January 2019. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Julie Chen Is Being Replaced By Carrie Ann Inaba on 'The Talk' and 'DWTS' Fans Are Freaking Out," 7 Dec. 2018 Okimoto, who is seeking a vacant state House seat, is part Filipino, Japanese and Caucasian. Audrey Mcavoy, The Seattle Times, "Diminished Hawaii Republicans aim to incrementally rebuild," 23 Oct. 2018 When Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed and sworn in to the Supreme Court in October, his seat on the prestigious U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit was left vacant. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Trump Judicial Nominee Neomi Rao's Thoughts on Rape Are Sparking Major Controversy," 14 Jan. 2019 Espy and incumbent Hyde-Smith are running for a seat previously left vacant by Republican Sen. Thad Cochran, who retired in April amid health concerns. Stavros Agorakis, Vox, "Cindy Hyde-Smith called for a “front row” seat at a lynching. Now donors want their money back.," 20 Nov. 2018 Over the past two months, Kwame, a western lowland gorilla, has taken up the role left vacant by Leo, who passed away at age 40, in March. Hannah Rodriguez, The Seattle Times, "New ape in town: Kwame makes rare alpha-male debut at Woodland Park Zoo," 9 Nov. 2018 Excavators for the rail projects are idle, and workers’ quarters are vacant. Bradley Hope, WSJ, "WSJ Investigation: China Offered to Bail Out Troubled Malaysian Fund in Return for Deals," 7 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

11 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

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).


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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