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

There’s quite a difference between Aaron Gordon as a member of the Orlando Magic and Gordon in a vacuum. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "Top 100 NBA Players of 2020," 12 Sep. 2019 Air flows from high to low pressure, and the rush of air to the two hurricanes likely created a vacuum of air that was filled by a rapidly compressing air mass. Chris Bianchi, The Denver Post, "How Hurricane Dorian helped make it 100 degrees in Denver on Labor Day," 3 Sep. 2019 The widespread uncertainty has created power vacuums that could play to the advantage of some administration aides. The Washington Post, NOLA.com, "Trump plans to replace McMaster, maybe others," 15 Mar. 2018 Atmospheric vacuum breaker at mop sink in poor condition. Ebony Day, azcentral, "Moldy cheese among violations found during restaurant inspections," 4 Sep. 2019 Today, residents of Sambarkod, Upper Sambarkod, and Bodi Challa tribal colonies in Attappadi, are facing a huge vacuum in their life with Peelandi’s absence. K A Shaji, Quartz India, "Tribals in India’s Kerala are protesting against a Hindu name given to a captured elephant," 30 Aug. 2019 The process starts with the injection of deuterium and tritium in the high-vacuum reaction vessel. Giulia Pacchioni, Scientific American, "The Road to Fusion," 26 Aug. 2019 Dyson doesn't just deal in space-conscious and stylish vacuums, the elevated home brand also dabbles in hi-tech hair care and air enhancers, too. Elizabeth Buxton, refinery29.com, "This 55%-Off Dyson Sale Won't Last Long," 24 Aug. 2019 This particular vacuum is technically certified refurbished. Kelsey Mulvey, Popular Mechanics, "Amazon Is Selling a Super Cool Dyson Vacuum For Under $200," 23 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Current wrangling techniques include vacuuming up squishy critters and using nets that can tangle the animals. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Cool New Robot Can Grab Squishy Fish Without Hurting Them," 28 Aug. 2019 In both accidents, an environmental remediation company was brought in to vacuum up as much of the foam as possible. Gregory B. Hladky, courant.com, "State seeks testing of 2011 toxic firefighting foam spill at Waterbury Oxford Airport," 24 July 2019 The former Cambridge University psychology professor created an online personality test app in 2014 that vacuumed up the personal data of as many as 87 million Facebook users . Washington Post, "APNewsBreak: Data scientist drops Facebook defamation suit," 2 July 2019 From there, the company’s power radiates outward, dominating everything from maps to smartphone operating systems to video distribution — vacuuming up huge quantities of highly specific data about users along the way. The Editorial Board, BostonGlobe.com, "The case for breaking up Google," 14 June 2018 By his demeanor in the film, the sanitation guy vacuuming hippie waste from the porta-johns could be picking daisies. Randall Robertsstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "How to relive Woodstock: What to listen to, watch and read this week," 13 Aug. 2019 Crumbs don't care where your outlets are, which can make traditional vacuuming a pain. Julianne Ross, CNN Underscored, "Cordless vacuums are stronger than ever — shop the best picks for your budget," 29 July 2019 The ideal combination of the two measurements depends on the nature of the vacuuming work. Rachel Rothman, Good Housekeeping, "The 7 Best Leaf Vacuums to Make Yard Work Easy," 26 July 2019 Energy-intensive tasks such as vacuuming, laundry and dish washing should be postponed until after 10 p.m., PG&E said. J.d. Morris, SFChronicle.com, "Californians urged to conserve electricity during heat wave," 11 June 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

21 Sep 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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