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 The Oak Brook Park District is looking for someone to contribute $2 million in exchange for 20-year naming rights of the 34 acres of vacant land purchased from McDonald’s after voters approved a $17.9 million referendum in November 2018. Chuck Fieldman,, "Oak Brook Park District offers naming rights for former McDonald’s property in exchange for $2 million," 4 Sep. 2019 County staff says there’s enough vacant land available to potentially expand the facilities and build new housing. Thy Vo, The Mercury News, "Santa Clara County to check out vacant land for affordable housing," 13 Aug. 2019 The owner of property across from the Kenwood Towne Centre wants to build two four-story office buildings atop parking garages on the vacant land there. Jeanne Houck,, "Office development proposed for Kenwood across from mall," 1 Aug. 2019 The structure, which burned on Sept. 16, 2018 and did not have a sprinkler system, remains vacant. Jennifer Johnson,, "Bathroom sprinkler credited with extinguishing Park Ridge condo fire," 12 Sep. 2019 Cherise Rohr-Allegrini, president of the Lavaca association, said her group supports new infill development in vacant lots, but does not want to lose the house. Scott Huddleston,, "Commission answers San Antonio neighborhood’s plea to save 1909 Lavaca house," 4 Sep. 2019 Rok:Brgr closed at Gulfstream Village earlier this year and the site remains vacant. Michael Mayo,, "More restaurant closings at Gulfstream Village in Hallandale: Cantina Laredo Mexican and III Forks steakhouse," 19 Aug. 2019 Several days later, on July 28, their bodies were found nearby each other: Edward had been shot and Alfred had been strangled, but both boys were dumped in a vacant lot in the southwest part of the city. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "The Atlanta Child Murders: The True Story Behind the 'Mindhunter' Season 2 Case," 16 Aug. 2019 Lastly, the position of U.S. special envoy for Northern Ireland remains vacant. Chris Gavin, National Review, "Can the U.S. Help the Post-Brexit U.K.?," 13 Aug. 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

4 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for vacant

The first known use of vacant was in the 14th century

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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

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).


meddlesome, informal, or unofficial

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