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

Ambitious men push aside idealists and, in turn, fall prey to rivals even more ruthless than they, eager to exploit the power vacuum created when institutions collapse. William Anthony Hay, WSJ, "‘Revolutionary’ Review: The Real Revolution," 29 Mar. 2019 Remove the shop vacuum’s paper air filter to do this. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "The DIY Guide To Fixing Your Leaky Air Conditioner," 15 Mar. 2019 But two robot vacuums from Eufy are going cheap on Amazon today that helps lower the cost of entry. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Upgrade To Hands-Free Cleaning With Amazon's Robo-Vac Sale," 25 Feb. 2019 The idea first started when Whitehouse and his wife were researching robot vacuums. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "‘Doomba’ turns your Roomba’s cleaning maps into Doom levels," 26 Dec. 2018 Among Amazon's other incredible deals on products like Instant Pots, Vitamix Blenders, and Bissell Vacuum Cleaners, Roomba robot vacuums are on major sale. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "These Roombas Are On Sale On Amazon, So You Can Save Up To $175," 29 Nov. 2018 Well, not quite indefinitely: the vacuum around the atom is not perfect. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Single atoms sit still on a hot plate, may yield new quantum tech," 10 Sep. 2018 In upgrading the house, the couple installed central air conditioning, a natural gas generator, a central vacuum system, baseboard heating and a fire sprinkler system. Joan Walden, courant.com, "288 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury," 21 June 2018 Most companies suggest you vacuum before exterminators arrive. Julia Terruso, Philly.com, "What to know about bedbug prevention, treatment," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Nothing prevents or discourages girls from vacuuming up the details of an atlas. Heather Mac Donald, WSJ, "Sorry, Feminists, Men Are Better at Scrabble," 16 Nov. 2018 In brief clips from stylists who got their hands on the tool early, strands of hair are vacuumed into the tool’s curling chamber and wound around an internal rotating iron. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "Chi's Rotating Curling Iron Is Like Nothing You’ve Ever Seen Before," 12 Sep. 2018 To help the kelp, commercial divers along Northern California’s Mendocino coast are tending a precious stand of kelp forest, plucking off the purple sea urchins by hand and using suction hoses to vacuum them up, says Catton. Washington Post, "Sea otters rebound but struggle to regain historic range," 18 May 2018 Cleveland Whiskey in Ohio utilizes an aggressive, highly oxygenated, vacuumed, and pressurized environment to extract flavor from different strains of wood to produce its products rapidly. Alan Goldfarb, The Verge, "Artificial whiskey is coming, and one company is betting you’ll drink up," 23 Aug. 2018 Photo: David Pierce/The Wall Street Journal Not all robot vacuums measure up to that low bar, but many do, including my five test subjects—for the most part. David Pierce, WSJ, "Robot Vacuums Are Finally Good—Here’s Which One to Buy," 16 Dec. 2018 The third installment in the series about Mario’s not-so-heroic brother vacuuming up poltergeists in a quest to find his brother is coming sometime next year. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Nintendo reveals Luigi’s Mansion 3 for the Switch is coming in 2019," 13 Sep. 2018 About 9,000 janitors and maintenance workers from El Salvador — many of whom have Temporary Protected Status — have been sweeping, scrubbing, and vacuuming government buildings in Washington, DC, for decades. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "The hypocrisy of Trump’s immigration agenda is getting harder to ignore," 11 Dec. 2018 Kohl's Target isn't the only retailer celebrating an entire Cyber Week, Kohl's is also holding an extended promotion offering deals on a wide variety of products like ASICS sneakers, Keurig coffee makers, Dyson vacuums and Lauren Conrad sheet sets. Alex Watt, Redbook, "The Best Days for Holiday Shopping Deals Beyond Black Friday," 3 Dec. 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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Statistics for vacuum

Last Updated

6 Apr 2019

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 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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