vacuum

noun
vac·u·um | \ ˈva-(ˌ)kyüm , -kyəm also -kyü-əm \
plural vacuums or vacua\ˈva-kyə-wə \

Definition of vacuum 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : emptiness of space

2a : 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

3a : 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

vacuum

verb
vacuumed; vacuuming; vacuums

Definition of vacuum (Entry 2 of 3)

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

vacuum

adjective

Definition of vacuum (Entry 3 of 3)

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

Examples of vacuum in a Sentence

Noun

the vacuum of outer space A pump was used to create a vacuum inside the bottle.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Into the spiritual vacuum created by their departures have come congregations, largely nondenominational, that attract different kinds of flocks comfortable with unorthodox venues. Kristin E. Holmes, Philly.com, "As Philly neighborhoods gentrify, black churches lose their base and leave," 6 July 2018 Every few minutes the vacuum whirled back to life as one of us cleared up another patch of bugs and sent them to their Dyson afterlife. Christopher Muther, BostonGlobe.com, "How to survive an Airbnb disaster, bugs and all," 5 July 2018 But the real draw is the ability to control where the vacuum can and can't go. Samantha Gordon, USA TODAY, "These are the 5 best Amazon deals right now," 5 July 2018 Pockets of power have been sucked into a vacuum of inconsistency and strikeouts. Matthew Defranks, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Marlins' future on display as Sandy Alcantara, Lewis Brinson lead Miami past Mets," 30 June 2018 The rodents are part of a study to determine how living on a sterile ship in the dark vacuum of space alters circadian rhythms—and potentially disrupts a healthy microbiome. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "NASA's Astro-Mice Will Test What Space Does to Your Gut," 28 June 2018 To recreate it in a lab, the scientists placed carbon-containing plasma into a vacuum at a low temperature. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Milky Way Is Full of Potentially Toxic "Space Grease"," 28 June 2018 Next, the Liholiho team vacuum seals the ground mixture into compressed rectangles. Ali Bouzari, SFChronicle.com, "Housemade: The magic of Liholiho Yacht Club," 22 June 2018 The company has a huge product lineup outside of smartphones, including everything from robot vacuums to smart TVs to rice cookers. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Xiaomi’s IPO makes it the third-most valuable smartphone maker," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Should drivers be worried about the information these sensors are vacuuming up? Peter Holley, Washington Post, "Privacy as a product: The argument for trading your personal data for a cheaper car," 26 June 2018 On Thursday, students and teachers arrived at their school to find that areas had been vacuumed, and damaged asbestos accessible to children and staff had been sealed off. Barbara Laker, Philly.com, "School District cleans Olney Elementary after 10.7 million asbestos fibers found," 8 June 2018 For the rest of the season, keep the filter clean, vacuum the pool each week, and test the chemical levels every day. Danielle Beurteaux, Popular Mechanics, "How to Get Your Swimming Pool Ready for Summer," 18 May 2018 And even as special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation draws closer to President Donald Trump himself, vacuuming up interviews and documents from senior Trump advisers, Pence largely has stayed out of the conversation. Tom Lobianco, The Seattle Times, "Pence’s approach to troubles in White House: He wasn’t there," 4 Feb. 2018 Aquamarine Dream Prep walls before hanging coverings by vacuuming the entire surface and wiping away any toothpaste splatters and water stains. Stephanie Granada, Sunset, "10 Ways to Design a Better Bathroom with Wallpaper," 22 Jan. 2018 But people’s data is also increasingly being vacuumed right out of their living rooms via their televisions, sometimes without their knowledge. Sapna Maheshwari, New York Times, "How Smart TVs in Millions of U.S. Homes Track More Than What’s On Tonight," 5 July 2018 The beans get vacuumed upward into another machine that melts it out, into four layers, red, white, a regrind of colors and a gloss coat. Christopher Borrelli, chicagotribune.com, "That red plastic cup is a Chicago original. Proceed to party.," 29 June 2018 And as Amazon vacuums up more information about its customers, a data breach could be particularly devastating. David Pierson, latimes.com, "With in-car delivery, Amazon is testing how much privacy you'll give up — even as backlash rocks Facebook," 25 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of vacuum

Noun

1550, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1922, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Adjective

1825, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for vacuum

Noun

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

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Phrases Related to vacuum

cause/create/leave a vacuum

in a vacuum

Statistics for vacuum

Last Updated

7 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vacuum

The first known use of vacuum was in 1550

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More Definitions for vacuum

vacuum

noun

English Language Learners Definition of vacuum

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

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

: to clean (something) with a vacuum cleaner

vacuum

noun
vac·u·um | \ ˈva-ˌkyüm \
plural vacuums or vacua\-kyə-wə \

Kids Definition of vacuum

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a space completely empty of matter

2 : a space from which most of the air has been removed (as by a pump)

vacuum

verb
vacuumed; vacuuming

Kids Definition of vacuum (Entry 2 of 2)

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

vacuum

noun
vac·u·um | \ ˈvak-(ˌ)yüm , -yu̇-əm , -yəm \
plural vacuums or vacua\-yə-wə \

Medical Definition of vacuum 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : emptiness of space

2a : 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

vacuum

adjective

Medical Definition of vacuum (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on vacuum

Spanish Central: Translation of vacuum

Nglish: Translation of vacuum for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vacuum for Arabic Speakers

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