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 In most cases that means fewer miles driven, vacant public transit networks, and empty airplanes. Max Lockie, Quartz, "Will Covid-19 finally turn a straphanging NYC into a city for bikers?," 2 July 2020 Some 65 officers will be laid off and nearly 40 vacant positions won’t be filled, Police Chief Todd Chamberlain told the school board. USA TODAY, "LAPD funding slashed by $150 million; money to be rerouted to community programs," 2 July 2020 The first of two phases will primarily involve vacant land that formerly housed car dealerships. Jeanne Houck, The Enquirer, "Tenants of Montgomery's $140M development to be announced 'in the very near future'," 30 June 2020 Among other actions, Hogan’s proposal to the board slashes a $125 million subsidy to Metro, eliminates some aviation divisions and sells off aircraft, as well as cuts 92 vacant jobs. Washington Post, "Maryland Democrats poised to reject part of Hogan’s budget cuts," 30 June 2020 The driver had crashed into a vacant house where medics found him and pronounced him dead, according to police. Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Press, "Police: 1 dead, 9 wounded in shootings over the weekend in Detroit," 28 June 2020 The project is being spearheaded by Violence Impact Prevention Coalition organizer Jeff Spellman, who lives a block south of the vacant building. Emilly Davis, The Arizona Republic, "Old Phoenix Kmart could become 'food innovation center'," 24 June 2020 The mural is located on the wall of a vacant building at the corner of Third and McKinley streets. Elizabeth Montgomery, azcentral, "'This is how we protest': The stories behind 3 new Black Lives Matter murals in Phoenix," 23 June 2020 In a memo to the City Council, Bas suggested a means to come up with the difference: reduce overtime and freeze vacant positions. Rachel Swan,, "Cut $25 million from Oakland police? Not so fast, mayor says," 23 June 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

6 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Vacant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 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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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

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