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 vacuum (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 The administration has been slow to promulgate driver-assist technology policy, and a leadership vacuum persists at the federal agency regulating commercial trucks. Wiley Deck, Fortune, 4 May 2022 Whole-machine filtration Don't want to buy a whole new vacuum? Carolyn Forté, Good Housekeeping, 3 May 2022 With the Haitian government rent by disarray and division after the assassination in July of President Jovenel Moïse, violent gangs have stepped in to fill a power vacuum. Washington Post, 2 May 2022 To avoid any interference, the beam requires a vacuum as devoid of air as possible. Daniel Garisto, Scientific American, 27 Apr. 2022 In other modules, designed to facilitate the resumption of routine tasks, patients push around a virtual vacuum that cleans up colorful stars. New York Times, 26 Apr. 2022 Montenegro is currently in a power vacuum after its pro-Serbian government fell in a no-confidence vote in February and a new one has not been formed yet. Predrag Milic, ajc, 18 Apr. 2022 However, some messes are small enough to warrant a shortcut—and that's where a handheld vacuum comes into play. Carly Totten, Better Homes & Gardens, 18 Apr. 2022 Each layer sandwiches a vacuum that acts as an insulator. Manasee Wagh, Popular Mechanics, 18 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Then flip the mat over, and vacuum up the grit that came out. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, 26 Apr. 2022 Delta Sonic plans improve traffic flow at its Naperville car wash at Route 59 and North Aurora Road by adding more spaces for waiting cars and constructing a building for customers to vacuum their cars out of the elements. Suzanne Baker, chicagotribune.com, 28 Feb. 2022 Sprinkle generously, wait for 15 minutes, then vacuum away. Christina Poletto, Better Homes & Gardens, 2 Mar. 2022 Davenport used to personally clean the backboards and arrange the chairs on the benches and vacuum the locker room before games in Bellarmine’s old gym. Gentry Estes, USA TODAY, 11 Mar. 2022 Perhaps most noticeable will be an 11,400-square-foot greenhouse with 19 bays that will give customers an indoor space to vacuum their vehicles’ interiors. Suzanne Baker, chicagotribune.com, 28 Feb. 2022 Allergists like him now suggest that cat owners try allergy pills or allergy shots on themselves—and to vacuum with a HEPA filter, bathe their cat regularly, and keep it out of the bedroom. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, 5 Nov. 2021 The number one tip to keeping your furniture clean is to vacuum it often. Kaylei Fear, Better Homes & Gardens, 17 Nov. 2021 These early settlements encouraged other entities to vacuum up patents and emulate the unsavory extortionate practices. Ike Brannon, Forbes, 4 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near vacuum

vacuous

vacuum

vacuum back

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Statistics for vacuum

Last Updated

10 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Vacuum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vacuum. Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for vacuum

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 vacuum (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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