evac·​u·​ate | \ i-ˈva-kyə-ˌwāt How to pronounce evacuate (audio) , -kyü-ˌāt \
evacuated; evacuating

Definition of evacuate

transitive verb

1 : to remove the contents of : empty
2 : to discharge from the body as waste : void
3 : to remove something (such as gas or water) from especially by pumping
4a : to remove especially from a military zone or dangerous area
b : to withdraw from military occupation of
c : vacate sense 1 were ordered to evacuate the building

intransitive verb

1 : to withdraw from a place in an organized way especially for protection
2 : to pass urine or feces from the body

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Other Words from evacuate

evacuative \ i-​ˈva-​kyə-​ˌwā-​tiv How to pronounce evacuate (audio) , -​kyü-​ˌā-​ \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for evacuate



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Examples of evacuate in a Sentence

People who live along the coast are being evacuated as the hurricane approaches. During World War II, children were evacuated from London to the country. Residents were ordered to evacuate the building. Residents have been ordered to evacuate.
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Recent Examples on the Web A week later, the principal called Pacific Gas & Electric Co., which found a potentially dangerous gas leak and ordered all 480 students to evacuate the school immediately. Annie Vainshtein, San Francisco Chronicle, 8 Oct. 2021 Less than an hour later, fire officials ordered a number of nearby residences to evacuate. Lyndsay Winkley, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Sep. 2021 The Caldor Fire was 20% contained on Wednesday but windy conditions in the area were expected to fan the flames as some residents in neighboring Nevada were ordered to evacuate. Julia Musto, Fox News, 1 Sep. 2021 Communities several miles south of the lake were abruptly ordered to evacuate Sunday, NBC Los Angeles reported. Phil Helsel, NBC News, 30 Aug. 2021 Most of South Lake Tahoe ordered to evacuate as Caldor Fire gets closer. Laura L. Davis, USA TODAY, 30 Aug. 2021 People along the Louisiana coast were ordered to evacuate ahead of the storm, while New Orleans residents were under a voluntary evacuation order because the city’s mayor LaToya Cantrell said there was not enough time to impose a mandatory order. Alison Durkee, Forbes, 29 Aug. 2021 Unlike during Hurricane Katrina, residents of New Orleans and its immediate suburbs were not ordered to evacuate ahead of Ida. Washington Post, 28 Aug. 2021 Citing environmental and health concerns, Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni ordered his staff on Wednesday to evacuate from their offices in the Roderick L. Ireland Courthouse in Springfield. BostonGlobe.com, 25 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'evacuate.' 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 evacuate

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for evacuate

Middle English, to draw off morbid humors, from Latin evacuatus, past participle of evacuare to empty, from e- + vacuus empty

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Time Traveler for evacuate

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The first known use of evacuate was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

13 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Evacuate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/evacuate. Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of evacuate

: to remove (someone) from a dangerous place
: to leave (a dangerous place)
: to pass (solid waste) from your body


evac·​u·​ate | \ i-ˈva-kyə-ˌwāt How to pronounce evacuate (audio) \
evacuated; evacuating

Kids Definition of evacuate

1 : to leave or cause to leave a place of danger Residents evacuated the burning building.
2 : to make empty : empty out
3 : to discharge waste matter from the body


evac·​u·​ate | \ i-ˈvak-yə-ˌwāt How to pronounce evacuate (audio) \
evacuated; evacuating

Medical Definition of evacuate

transitive verb

1 : to remove the contents of evacuate an abscess
2 : to discharge (as urine or feces) from the body as waste : void

intransitive verb

: to pass urine or feces from the body

Other Words from evacuate

evacuative \ -​ˌwāt-​iv How to pronounce evacuate (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on evacuate

Nglish: Translation of evacuate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of evacuate for Arabic Speakers


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