vacation

noun, often attributive
va·​ca·​tion | \ vā-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce vacation (audio) , və-\

Definition of vacation

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation had a restful vacation at the beach
2a : a scheduled period during which activity (as of a court or school) is suspended
b : a period of exemption from work granted to an employee
3 : a respite or a time of respite from something : intermission
4 : an act or an instance of vacating

vacation

verb
vacationed; vacationing\ vā-​ˈkā-​sh(ə-​)niŋ How to pronounce vacationing (audio) , və-​ \

Definition of vacation (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to take or spend a vacation vacationed at the shore

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Other Words from vacation

Verb

vacationer \ vā-​ˈkā-​sh(ə-​)nər How to pronounce vacationer (audio) , və-​ \ noun

Synonyms for vacation

Synonyms: Noun

break, holiday [chiefly British], hols [British], leave, recess

Synonyms: Verb

holiday

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Examples of vacation in a Sentence

Noun

Family vacations were a high point in my childhood. When are you taking vacation this year? Employees are entitled to 120 hours of paid vacation. I don't have any vacation days left. We have a one-week vacation in February. The university will be closed for Christmas vacation.

Verb

hoping to vacation in Spain this summer
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In an Instagram post late Tuesday, Demi gave them a sweet shoutout after the three were on vacation together in Bora Bora. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Demi Lovato Opens Up About How Her Friends Have Helped Her Stay Healthy," 15 May 2019 For entrepreneurs, dealing with a work crisis on vacation comes with the territory. Barbara Haislip, WSJ, "What Happens When Entrepreneurs Go On Vacation—and a Crisis Hits," 28 Apr. 2019 When Hassenfeld went on vacation, Levine spent two weeks creating detailed models of Weston’s characters, each wearing replicas of actual military equipment. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "Yo, Joe: How a 12-Inch Soldier Doll Became a Toy Legend," 9 Apr. 2019 Of course, like Coachella, a beach vacation is the perfect time to show off some new outfits. Kara Nesvig, Teen Vogue, "Bella Hadid and The Weekend Skip Coachella for a Tropical Vacation," 14 Apr. 2019 There are so many ways to go all out with a promposal, from dressing up as a hot dog to offering a full vacation to your potential prom date (hey, it’s happened!). Alanna Greco, Seventeen, "These Celebs Have the *Best* Promposal Ideas," 12 Mar. 2019 For most people, the Denver International Airport (DIA) is a stopover on the way to a final destination or a Mile High City vacation. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Denver airport construction signs poke fun at conspiracy rumors," 7 Sep. 2018 Perhaps a vacation would serve this tired franchise well. Barbara Vandenburgh, azcentral, "Monsters go on vacation in 'Hotel Transylvania 3'," 12 July 2018 Players are subesquently flown from minicamps to Las Vegas, and are granted a return ticket following Summer League to any destination in the country, often to a city that launches a vacation. Jake Fischer, SI.com, "The Economics of a Las Vegas Summer League Invite," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Moira Boxall, who returned to Glasgow after vacationing in Queensland, Australia, found the serpent curled up in one of her shoes after the long trek. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Python on Plane Travels from Australia to Scotland Inside Woman's Shoe," 25 Feb. 2019 From living it up at a private resort in Mexico to vacationing in Hawaii, keeping up with this duo is no easy task. Mekita Rivas, Teen Vogue, "Lili Reinhart Wears a Trench Coat in Paris with Cole Sprouse," 31 Aug. 2018 This isn't the first time the group has vacationed together, of course. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Priyanka Chopra, Sophie Turner, Nick Jonas, and Joe Jonas Are on Another Fabulous Vacation Together," 26 Mar. 2019 Gillum vacationed at a luxury resort in Costa Rica in May 2016 with Corey, as well as another investor in the Edison. Gary Fineout, The Seattle Times, "New documents contradict Florida Democratic nominee Gillum," 23 Oct. 2018 The singer was spotted on June 27, vacationing with boyfriend Matthew Hussey in Barcelona. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Camila Cabello Wore a Scarf as a Top in Barcelona With Boyfriend Matthew Hussey," 28 June 2018 In Arizona in 2015, a riot broke out in a private prison where previously three inmates had escaped and murdered a vacationing couple. Timothy Williams And Richard A. Oppel Jr., New York Times, "Escapes, Riots and Beatings. But States Can’t Seem to Ditch Private Prisons.," 10 Apr. 2018 The body was found floating in the surf near Juan Creek by a couple that was vacationing along the coast, the sheriff's office said. Tina Burnside, CNN, "Body found in ocean near site of Hart family crash," 7 Apr. 2018 The family even vacationed all together in Italy this year. Victoria Rodriguez, Seventeen, "Everything You Need to Know About Kourtney Kardashian's Boyfriend Younes Bendjima," 18 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vacation.' 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 vacation

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Verb

1883, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for vacation

Noun

Middle English vacacioun, borrowed from Anglo-French vacacion, borrowed from Latin vacātiōn-, vacātiō "exemption from service, respite from work," from vacāre "to be empty, be free, have leisure" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of action nouns — more at vacant

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Statistics for vacation

Last Updated

22 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vacation

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

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More Definitions for vacation

vacation

noun

English Language Learners Definition of vacation

 (Entry 1 of 2)

US : a period of time that a person spends away from home, school, or business usually in order to relax or travel
chiefly US : the number of days or hours per year for which an employer agrees to pay workers while they are not working
US : a time when schools, colleges, and universities are closed

vacation

verb

English Language Learners Definition of vacation (Entry 2 of 2)

US : to go somewhere during a vacation

vacation

noun
va·​ca·​tion | \ vā-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce vacation (audio) \

Kids Definition of vacation

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a period during which activity (as of a school) is stopped for a time
2 : a period spent away from home or business in travel or amusement

vacation

verb
vacationed; vacationing

Kids Definition of vacation (Entry 2 of 2)

: to take or spend a period away from home or business in travel or amusement

Other Words from vacation

vacationer noun

vacation

noun
va·​ca·​tion

Legal Definition of vacation

1 : a period in which activity or work is suspended specifically : an interval between judicial terms
2 : an act or instance of vacating vacation of a judgment

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Comments on vacation

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