[ vak-yoo-uhs ]
See synonyms for vacuous on
  1. without contents; empty: the vacuous air.

  2. lacking in ideas or intelligence: a vacuous mind.

  1. expressing or characterized by a lack of ideas or intelligence; inane; stupid: a vacuous book.

  2. purposeless; idle: a vacuous way of life.

Origin of vacuous

1645–55; from Latin vacuus “empty”; see -ous

Other words from vacuous

  • vac·u·ous·ly, adverb
  • vac·u·ous·ness, noun
  • non·vac·u·ous, adjective
  • non·vac·u·ous·ly, adverb
  • non·vac·u·ous·ness, noun
  • un·vac·u·ous, adjective
  • un·vac·u·ous·ly, adverb
  • un·vac·u·ous·ness, noun

Words that may be confused with vacuous

Words Nearby vacuous Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use vacuous in a sentence

  • "It comes to this," drawled Average Jones intently, looking the employee between his vacuous eyes.

    Average Jones | Samuel Hopkins Adams
  • Gossip must often have been likened to the winged insect bearing pollen to the flowers; it fertilizes many a vacuous reverie.

  • Lady Mary smiled at this vacuous repetition, but her mother went into a great rage, opening her old jaws like a maddened horse.

    The O'Ruddy | Stephen Crane
  • She submitted to the other's will like a tired child, dropping into a chair and eyeing him with a vacuous expression.

  • She knew neither of them, and they were immature boys, with the empty and vacuous faces of almost degenerate illiteracy.

    A Pagan of the Hills | Charles Neville Buck

British Dictionary definitions for vacuous


/ (ˈvækjʊəs) /

  1. containing nothing; empty

  2. bereft of ideas or intelligence; mindless

  1. characterized by or resulting from vacancy of mind: a vacuous gaze

  2. indulging in no useful mental or physical activity; idle

  3. logic maths (of an operator or expression) having no import; idle: in (x) (John is tall) the quantifier (x) is vacuous

Origin of vacuous

C17: from Latin vacuus empty, from vacāre to be empty

Derived forms of vacuous

  • vacuously, adverb
  • vacuousness, noun

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012