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

On Instagram, Mark posts pictures from vacations on the beach, or of the entire group shrieking their way down a water ride at Disneyland. Marie Milano, Country Living, "Shark Tank's Mark Cuban and His Wife Tiffany's Marriage Is Worth More Than Money Can Buy," 10 Mar. 2019 Lucky for you, affordable last-minute vacations are easier than ever to book. Jill Fergus, Good Housekeeping, "The Best Sites and Apps for Finding Last-Minute Travel Deals," 26 Feb. 2019 Malia and Sasha Obama, coming of age just as social media was on the rise, were frequently the subjects of viral articles, ranging from Malia standing at a beer-pong table to Sasha wearing a bikini on vacation. Meagan Flynn, The Seattle Times, "‘No part of her life should be anyone’s clickbait’: Tabloid’s Malia Obama report draws rebukes on social media," 19 Feb. 2019 Onto more happenings this week: Chrissy Teigen headed to Marrakech on vacation with her husband John Legend and her baby daughter, Luna. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "The 13 Best Fashion Instagrams of the Week: Chrissy Teigen Dresses for Marrakech, Jada Pinkett Smith Gets Glam, and More," 26 Jan. 2019 Offline downloads are supported on Android and iOS, which can be a lifesaver on flights, during other long travel, or even for those boring afternoons on vacation. Chris Welch, The Verge, "The Verge Cord Cutter’s Guide: hardware, software, and services," 20 Dec. 2018 Katarina Zarutskie makes a quick getaway after getting bitten by a 5-foot nurse shark while on vacation in the Bahamas. Matthew Martinez, miamiherald, "Model swam with sharks. One bite and six stitches later, she says she’d do it again," 11 July 2018 Ronaldo himself, currently on vacation in Greece, was no less effusive. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Ronaldo Leaves Real Madrid to Join Juventus," 10 July 2018 The French leader took 15 days of vacation, reading books and enjoying the view of turquoise waters. Sylvie Corbet, Fox News, "French president pushes for new changes as criticism grows," 22 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In 2007, a vacationing medical student named Julian Crist was pushed to his death from the top of Gros Piton on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. Marilyn Stasio, New York Times, "Dangerous Disappearing Acts, With Killers in Pursuit," 8 June 2018 Ninalee Allen, who was known as Jinx, was a vacationing nursery-school teacher. Richard Sandomir, BostonGlobe.com, "Ninalee Allen Craig, 90, subject of ‘American Girl in Italy’ photo," 7 May 2018 The Mendocino County Sheriff's office said in a statement that a couple vacationing along the coast saw a possible body, which was pulled from the surf Saturday afternoon by a third bystander. CBS News, "Hart family crash: Body recovered near where SUV went off cliff, sheriff says," 8 Apr. 2018 In the past five years, home exchange has gained traction in the U.S. as—thanks to the success of Airbnb and VRBO—more vacationing Americans have discovered that staying in a home versus a hotel can yield more comfort and space to sprawl. Donna Bulseco, WSJ, "The Secret to Scoring a Vacation Home That’s (Practically) Free," 11 Jan. 2019 The singer, who performed at the Nikki Beach resort in St. Barth’s on New Year’s Eve, has been ringing in January while vacationing on the island. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Mariah Carey Blazes Into 2019 with a St. Barth’s Vacation—and Major Body Confidence—on Instagram," 5 Jan. 2019 While they weren't reported to be at the post-grouse shooting lunch, Prince William, Princess Charlotte, and baby Prince Louis are all also reportedly vacationing in Balmoral too, Hello! reports. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Prince George Experienced a Royal Milestone in Balmoral, Scotland This Weekend," 26 Aug. 2018 The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 9:30 a.m. about a possible alligator attack near a lagoon in Sea Pines Plantation, the resort community where Cline was vacationing, as Fox News previously reported. Frank Miles, Fox News, "Woman killed after alligator dragged her into Hilton Head lagoon was trying to protect dog: investigators," 20 Aug. 2018 The restrictions varied in their details, but, for the most part, citizens of the countries were forbidden from emigrating to the United States and many of them are barred from working, studying or vacationing here. Adam Liptak, BostonGlobe.com, "Supreme Court upholds Trump ban on travel from several mostly Muslim countries," 26 June 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

13 Mar 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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