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 That’s because they are constructed from stainless steel with double-wall vacuum insulation. Avery Newmark, ajc, 7 Jan. 2022 Zgheib evokes all those emotions, summoning empathy for the victims of policies crafted in an empathy vacuum. Los Angeles Times, 6 Jan. 2022 In July last year, Haiti's President Jovenel Moise was assassinated during an attack on his private residence, leaving a power vacuum that deepened the turmoil from the violence, Haiti's growing humanitarian crisis, and the Covid-19 pandemic. Natalie Gallón, CNN, 6 Jan. 2022 Her team used vacuum pumps fitted with sensitive filters and collected more than 70 air samples from various areas around the zoo, both in and outside animal sleeping areas. Doug Johnson, Ars Technica, 6 Jan. 2022 With a single charge, this vacuum can run for up to 40 minutes on normal mode and 15 minutes using turbo mode. Carly Kulzer, PEOPLE.com, 5 Jan. 2022 Researchers also ran a test in the lab using a small hexagonal test vehicle, weighing only about 60 grams, placed in a vacuum chamber. Elizabeth Howell, Forbes, 3 Jan. 2022 The gangs have tightened their grip amid a security and political vacuum that was worsened by the still-unsolved assassination in July of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, which has left the country’s interim government weak and divided. Washington Post, 3 Jan. 2022 This car hasn’t seen a vacuum or a wash in at least two years. The Editors, Outside Online, 29 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Using a dull knife or the edge of a credit card, gently scrape to break up the wax, then vacuum up the pieces. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 16 Dec. 2021 This is why thousands of shoppers are turning to vacuum seal bags instead. Carly Kulzer, PEOPLE.com, 22 Nov. 2021 If needed, sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch on the area and let dry overnight, then vacuum in the morning. Kaylei Fear, Better Homes & Gardens, 17 Nov. 2021 Where pads are installed but have grit embedded, brush or vacuum the surface. Washington Post, 29 Oct. 2021 Financial companies now rely on big data tools that vacuum up information from retail purchases, travel habits and even social media. Manu Bansal, Forbes, 14 Oct. 2021 Then vacuum up the wood residue, and wipe with a microfiber cloth to get rid of dust. Washington Post, 18 Nov. 2021 First, vacuum the carpet thoroughly while taking your time and overlapping the strokes. Kaylei Fear, Better Homes & Gardens, 17 Nov. 2021 Allow the carpet to dry, then vacuum over the spots to remove any trace of the impressions. Jeff Harper, chicagotribune.com, 6 Mar. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near vacuum

vacuous

vacuum

vacuum back

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Statistics for vacuum

Last Updated

10 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Vacuum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vacuum. Accessed 21 Jan. 2022.

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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 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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