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

The easiest way to clean up fallen needles is by using your vacuum's hose. Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping, "Here's How to Keep Your Christmas Tree Fresh Longer," 18 Dec. 2018 In a vacuum, moral philosophy and a popular television sitcom are at the polar ends of the cultural spectrum. Elizabeth Angell, Town & Country, "The Good Place Creator Michael Schur on How He Made Philosophy a Pop Culture Phenomenon," 6 Dec. 2018 The speed of light in a vacuum is 186,282 miles (299,792 kilometers) per second, and, according to Einstein's theory of special relativity, that's the top speed for anything traveling in our universe. Elizabeth Howell, Space.com, "The Stuff Falling into This Black Hole Is Moving at Almost 56,000 Miles a Second!," 25 Sep. 2018 Not for the black hole, of course—everybody knows that sound can’t travel in a vacuum. Corey Seymour, Vogue, "Serenity Now! How To Tune Out The Insanity When The World Goes Nuts," 21 Sep. 2018 Dyson Dyson is back with some updates to its three-year-old robot vacuum, the 360 Eye. Dami Lee, The Verge, "Dyson announces its new robot vacuum, the 360 Heurist," 12 Sep. 2018 Dyson Sir James Dyson and his eponymous company, best known for its vacuums, have in recent years made waves in the beauty world with the futuristic-looking Dyson hair dryer. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "Dyson’s new $500 golden hair dryer, explained," 29 Aug. 2018 Abhorring vacuums, the Warrens at first used the house to host punk-rock shows programmed by their children. Julie Lasky, New York Times, "Clinton Hill Mansion With a Rock ’n’ Roll History," 8 June 2018 But Americans compensated for the vacuum created by monarchs and nobles by inventing a cornucopia of private, voluntary associations. Allen C. Guelzo, WSJ, "America Was Always an Exceptional Nation, but Is It Still?," 23 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Dusting and vacuuming your place regularly (ideally at least once a week) can definitely help, as can removing any clutter that collects dust, the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) says. Korin Miller, SELF, "8 Ways to Keep Winter From Making Your Dry Eyes Worse," 11 Dec. 2018 The i7+ is definitely the future of robot vacuuming that’s available in the present. Dan Seifert, The Verge, "iRobot Roomba i7+ review: smarter than the average robot vacuum," 20 Nov. 2018 The author Chuck Klosterman once wrote that this is a great song to play while vacuuming. Ryan D'agostino, Popular Mechanics, "100 Songs to Clean the Garage To," 20 Nov. 2018 Curlers are vacuuming your strands in and releasing them coiled, and the sheer amount of innovation happening in flat irons boggles the mind. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "We Tested This Vibrating Hair Straightener on 6 Women's Hair," 29 Sep. 2018 Every other day or so, a street sweeper would rumble by, vacuuming up pebbles and bits of gravel. John Kelly, Washington Post, "From potholes to perfect pavement: My neighborhood has lovely new streets," 24 June 2018 Any shop worth your money will vacuum out all the old R12 before converting the system and filling it with R134a. Matthew Jancer, Popular Mechanics, "Everything You Should Know About Fixing Your Car's A/C," 11 Sep. 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

28 Dec 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

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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