vacuum

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

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 That way, scientists could study the wear and tear on the materials after spending two years on the lunar surface, exposed to vacuum, extreme temperatures, ionizing radiation and micrometeorite bombardment. Timothy Swindle, The Conversation, "Apollo 12: Fifty years ago, a passionate scientist’s keen eye led to the first pinpoint landing on the Moon," 12 Nov. 2019 For the owner with a fluffy dog: A robot vacuum that cleans up Extra-fluffy dogs mean more to love... and more to clean up. Jessica Kasparian, USA TODAY, "20 gifts for those who love dogs more than people," 5 Nov. 2019 The important yet under-told story in America is that politics does abhor a vacuum, and taxpayers get sucked out of the blue states, to be deposited in more tax-friendly states, like Florida, Texas, Indiana, Tennessee. John Kass, Twin Cities, "John Kass: ‘A Day Without Republicans’: a film for blue state taxpayers," 27 Oct. 2019 That chamber is in vacuum, shielded from the light and heat that would otherwise disrupt the delicate qubits, which sit on a chip at the end of all the wires, isolated in the dark and cold. Neil Savage, Scientific American, "Hands-On with Google’s Quantum Computer," 24 Oct. 2019 The important yet under-told story in America is that politics does abhor a vacuum, and taxpayers get sucked out of the blue states, to be deposited in more tax friendly states, like Florida, Texas, Indiana, Tennessee. John Kass, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Imagine a day without Republicans. It’s not hard, if you live in Chicago.," 23 Oct. 2019 For another, the numbers are often provided in what feels like a vacuum, lacking the context necessary to judge whether the streaming service’s programs are successful. Time, "These Are the Most Popular Netflix Shows and Movies—According to Netflix," 17 Oct. 2019 After twenty-five years of making music in a figurative vacuum, the call from Mcgowan would lead to Emmanuel finding, for the first time in his life, an audience. Nathan Taylor Pemberton, The New Yorker, "The Case for New Age Music as American Folk Art," 3 Oct. 2019 That could range from smart lawn sprinklers and thermostats to a security system, gaming system or a robotic vacuum, among many other devices. Diego Mendoza-moyers, ExpressNews.com, "Internet of Things: The benefits and hazards of smart home tech," 20 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb R2-D2-style robots puttered around Olympic venues, vacuuming floors, delivering water bottles, and projecting weather reports. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "Olympic Destroyer: The Cyberattack on the 2018 Winter Games," 24 Oct. 2019 For all of his challenges, Trump commands a gigantic operation that has vacuumed up unprecedented sums of money, an unparalleled megaphone to lure in voters and a lock on most of the Republican Party. Author: Annie Linskey, Matt Viser, Anchorage Daily News, "Democrats see weak spots in their own 2020 prospects," 23 Oct. 2019 And the longstanding Silicon Valley business model of vacuuming up the data of unsuspecting users and leveraging it for profit is coming under sustained attack. Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times, "Silicon Valley can’t escape the glare of the presidential race," 4 Oct. 2019 After overhearing her singing while vacuuming, her employer (Sophie Okonedo) wants to help her get to Nashville. Washington Post, "‘Wild Rose’ heralds arrival of rising star Jessie Buckley," 20 June 2019 Walmart: Score big deals—no membership required—on many of the same items available on Amazon, like Dyson vacuums, air fryers, and Roombas. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Best anti-Prime Day deals from Target, Walmart, and more," 15 July 2019 There's less time to do everyday chores like vacuuming. Courtney Campbell, USA TODAY, "The 5 best Amazon deals you can get this Friday," 13 Sep. 2019 As a professional sports gambler, his hardball tactics of vacuuming up the highest-value clues and wagering huge amounts on Daily Double and Final Jeopardy became must-see TV. Emily Yahr, chicagotribune.com, "'Jeopardy!' producer: 'Appropriate' action planned in leak of James Holzhauer's loss," 4 June 2019 This usually includes leaf raking, blowing and/or vacuuming, as well as leaf disposal. Leah Napoliello, Houston Chronicle, "BBB on Homes: Hire a contractor for fall season yard spruce-up," 14 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for vacuum

Last Updated

16 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for vacuum

The first known use of vacuum was in 1550

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More Definitions for vacuum

vacuum

noun
How to pronounce vacuum (audio) How to pronounce vacuum (audio)

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 How to pronounce vacuum (audio) \
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 How to pronounce vacuum (audio) , -yu̇-əm How to pronounce vacuum (audio) , -yəm\
plural vacuums or vacua\ -​yə-​wə How to pronounce vacua (audio) \

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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