Trending: vacate

Lookups spiked 4,300% on June 30, 2021

Why are people looking up vacate?

Bill Cosby will be released from prison following a Pennsylvania appeals court decision on June 30, 2021 to overturn his conviction in 2018 on sexual assault charges.

Citing a "due process violation" because a previous district attorney had made a "non-prosecution agreement" with Cosby in 2005 on the same charges for which he was later convicted, the court's final sentence of the 79-page decision reads:

For these reasons, Cosby’s convictions and judgment of sentence are vacated, and he is discharged

This official use of the legal term vacate was also used in many news articles.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court reached a decision to vacate Bill Cosby's 2018 sexual assault conviction in Montgomery County, paving the way for the 83-year-old comedian to be released from prison after more than two years behind bars.
Philly Voice, 30 June 2021

What does vacate mean?

Vacate is used in legal contexts to mean "to make void," a synonym of annul, overturn, and set aside.

Where does vacate come from?

Vacate comes from the Latin verb vacāre, meaning "to annul." Vacāre also had the meanings "to be empty, be free, have leisure," which led to the English words vacant and vacation.

What is notable about this use of vacate?

The terms overturn and overturn the decision were also frequently looked up following the court's announcement.

Trend Watch is a data-driven report on words people are looking up at much higher search rates than normal. While most trends can be traced back to the news or popular culture, our focus is on the lookup data rather than the events themselves.

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