- a space entirely devoid of matter.
- an enclosed space from which matter, especially air, has been partially removed so that the matter or gas remaining in the space exerts less pressure than the atmosphere (opposed to plenum).
- the state or degree of exhaustion in such an enclosed space.
- a space not filled or occupied; emptiness; void: The loss left a vacuum in his heart.
- a vacuum cleaner or sweeper.
- Physics. a state of lowest energy in a quantum field theory.
- of, pertaining to, employing, or producing a vacuum.
- (of a hollow container) partly exhausted of gas or air.
- pertaining to a device or process that makes use of a vacuum to accomplish a desired task.
- noting or pertaining to canning or packaging in which air is removed from the container to prevent deterioration of the contents.
- to use a vacuum cleaner: to vacuum in the dining room.
Origin of vacuum
Examples from the Web for vacuum
In a vacuum (translation: but for Obama), this could be a killer year for Democrats.Biggest Midterm Issue? The Obamaphant in the Living Room
September 7, 2014
There are also drones which vacuum the wireless spectrum, picking up tweets, emails, and Skype chats.Hamas Has Already Won Its Rocket War With Israel
July 16, 2014
We found that even in cases where individuals acted alone, in an operational sense, they were not radicalized in a vacuum.The Syrian War Comes Home to Europe
June 2, 2014
Rather, he is pointing out what should be obvious but is too often ignored: The court does not operate in a vacuum.The True Meaning of the Second Amendment
May 31, 2014
But as Feldman argues, “Nobody raises their child in a vacuum.”One Breakdown Can Mean Losing Your Kid Forever
May 30, 2014
As for Philip, all seemed a mere negation; there was a vacuum where his place had been.Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
There were only a Ruhmkorff coil and Crookes (vacuum) tube and the man himself.
His first search was for a durable filament which would burn in a vacuum.The Age of Invention
Plato affirms, almost in so many words, that nature abhors a vacuum.Timaeus
Yes, it must be that this land is a vacuum, such as I read of when I was a girl in school.The Flockmaster of Poison Creek
George W. Ogden
- a region containing no matter; free spaceCompare plenum (def. 3)
- a region in which gas is present at a low pressure
- the degree of exhaustion of gas within an enclosed spacea high vacuum; a perfect vacuum
- a sense or feeling of emptinesshis death left a vacuum in her life
- short for vacuum cleaner
- (modifier) of, containing, measuring, producing, or operated by a low gas pressurea vacuum tube; a vacuum brake
- to clean (something) with a vacuum cleanerto vacuum a carpet
Word Origin and History for vacuum
1540s, "emptiness of space," from Latin vacuum "an empty space, void," noun use of neuter of vacuus "empty," related to vacare "be empty" (see vain). Properly a loan-translation of Greek kenon, literally "that which is empty." Meaning "a place emptied of air" is attested from 1650s. Vacuum tube is attested from 1859. Vacuum cleaner is from 1903; shortened form vacuum (n.) first recorded 1910.
"to clean with a vacuum cleaner," 1922; see vacuum (n.). Related: Vacuumed; vacuuming.
- Absence of matter.
- A space empty of matter.
- A space relatively empty of matter.
- A space in which the pressure is significantly lower than atmospheric pressure.
- A region of space in which there is no matter.
- A region of space having extremely low gas pressure relative to surrounding pressure. The air pump of a vacuum cleaner, for example, drastically reduces the air pressure inside the device, creating a vacuum; the pressure difference causes air to rush into it, carrying dust and debris along with it.
The absence of matter.