vacuous

play
adjective vac·u·ous \ˈva-kyə-wəs\

Definition of vacuous

  1. 1 :  emptied of or lacking content

  2. 2 :  marked by lack of ideas or intelligence :  stupid, inane a vacuous mind a vacuous movie

  3. 3 :  devoid of serious occupation :  idle

vacuously

adverb

vacuousness

noun

vacuous was our Word of the Day on 12/29/2012. Hear the podcast!

Examples of vacuous in a Sentence

  1. a dull and vacuous movie

  2. He had a vacuous expression on his face.

Recent Examples of vacuous from the Web

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

Did You Know?

As you might have guessed, "vacuous" shares the same root as "vacuum"-the Latin adjective vacuus, meaning "empty." This root also gave us the noun "vacuity" (the oldest meaning of which is "an empty space") as well as the verb "evacuate" (originally meaning "to empty of contents"). Its predecessor, the verb "vacare," is also an ancestor of the words "vacation" and "vacancy" as well as "void." All of these words suggest an emptiness of space, or else a fleeing of people or things from one place to another. "Vacuous" appeared in English in the middle of the 17th century, at first literally describing something that was empty. It acquired its figurative usage, describing one who is lacking any substance of the mind, in the mid-1800s.

Origin and Etymology of vacuous

Latin vacuus “empty, unoccupied, idle” + -ous — more at 1vacuum

Synonym Discussion of vacuous

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

VACUOUS Defined for English Language Learners

vacuous

play
adjective

Definition of vacuous for English Language Learners

  • : having or showing a lack of intelligence or serious thought : lacking meaning, importance, or substance



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