1

vacuum

noun vac·u·um \ ˈva-(ˌ)kyüm , -kyəm also -kyü-əm \
Updated on: 10 Nov 2017

Definition of vacuum

plural vacuums or vacua play \ˈva-kyə-wə\
1 :emptiness of space
2 a :a space absolutely devoid of matter
b :a space partially exhausted (as to the highest degree possible) by artificial means (such as an air pump)
c :a degree of rarefaction below atmospheric pressure
3 a :a state or condition resembling a vacuum :void
  • the power vacuum in Indochina after the departure of the French
  • —Norman Cousins
b :a state of isolation from outside influences
  • people who live in a vacuum … so that the world outside them is of no moment
  • —W. S. Maugham
4 :a device creating or utilizing a partial vacuum; especially :vacuum cleaner

Examples of vacuum in a Sentence

  1. the vacuum of outer space

  2. A pump was used to create a vacuum inside the bottle.

Recent Examples of vacuum from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vacuum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of vacuum

borrowed from Medieval Latin (translation of Greek kenón), from neuter of Latin vacuus "empty, unoccupied," from vacāre "to be empty or unoccupied, have space, be free" + -uus, deverbal adjective suffix — more at vacant


2

vacuum

verb

Definition of vacuum

transitive verb
1 :to use a vacuum device (such as a vacuum cleaner) on
  • vacuum the living room
2 :to draw or take in by or as if by suction
intransitive verb
:to operate a vacuum device

Recent Examples of vacuum from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vacuum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of vacuum

1922


3

vacuum

adjective

Definition of vacuum

1 :of, containing, producing, or utilizing a partial vacuum
  • separated by means of vacuum distillation
2 :of or relating to a vacuum device or system

First Known Use of vacuum

1825



VACUUM Defined for English Language Learners

vacuum

noun

Definition of vacuum for English Language Learners

  • : an empty space in which there is no air or other gas : a space from which all or most of the air has been removed

  • : a situation created when an important person or thing has gone and has not been replaced


vacuum

verb

Definition of vacuum for English Language Learners

  • : to clean (something) with a vacuum cleaner


VACUUM Defined for Kids

1

vacuum

noun vac·u·um \ ˈva-ˌkyüm \

Definition of vacuum for Students

plural vacuums or vacua \-kyə-wə\
1 :a space completely empty of matter
2 :a space from which most of the air has been removed (as by a pump)

2

vacuum

verb

Definition of vacuum for Students

vacuumed; vacuuming
:to use a vacuum cleaner on
  • She's vacuuming the carpet.

Medical Dictionary

1

vacuum

noun vac·u·um \ ˈvak-(ˌ)yüm , -yu̇-əm , -yəm \

medical Definition of vacuum

plural vacuums or vacua play \-yə-wə\
1 :emptiness of space
2 a :a space absolutely devoid of matter
b :a space partially exhausted (as to the highest degree possible) by artificial means (as an air pump)
c :a degree of rarefaction below atmospheric pressure :negative pressure

2

vacuum

adjective

medical Definition of vacuum

1 :of, containing, producing, or utilizing a partial vacuum
  • separated by means of vacuum distillation
2 :of or relating to a vacuum device or system

Learn More about vacuum


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