[ emp-tee ]
/ ˈɛmp ti /
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adjective, emp·ti·er, emp·ti·est.
containing nothing; having none of the usual or appropriate contents: an empty bottle.
having no occupant or occupants; vacant; unoccupied: an empty house.
without cargo or load: an empty wagon.
destitute of people or human activity: We walked along the empty streets of the city at night.
destitute of some quality or qualities; devoid (usually followed by of): Theirs is a life now empty of happiness.
without force, effect, or significance; hollow; meaningless: empty compliments; empty pleasures.
not employed in useful activity or work; idle: empty summer days.
hungry: I'm feeling rather empty—let's have lunch.
completely spent of emotion: The experience had left him with an empty heart.
verb (used with object), emp·tied, emp·ty·ing.
to make empty; deprive of contents; discharge the contents of: to empty a bucket.
to discharge (contents): to empty the water out of a bucket.
verb (used without object), emp·tied, emp·ty·ing.
to become empty: The room emptied rapidly after the lecture.
to discharge contents, as a river: The river empties into the sea.
noun, plural emp·ties.
Informal. something that is empty, as a box, bottle, or can: Throw the empties into the waste bin.
OTHER WORDS FOR empty
6 barren, bootless, futile, ineffective, ineffectual, pointless, useless, vain.
OPPOSITES FOR empty
THINGAMABOB OR THINGUMMY: CAN YOU DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THE US AND UK TERMS IN THIS QUIZ?
Do you know the difference between everyday US and UK terminology? Test yourself with this quiz on words that differ across the Atlantic.
Question 1 of 7
In the UK, COTTON CANDY is more commonly known as…
Origin of empty
synonym study for empty
1. Empty, vacant, blank, void denote absence of content or contents. Empty means without appropriate or accustomed contents: an empty refrigerator. Vacant is usually applied to that which is temporarily unoccupied: a vacant chair; three vacant apartments. Blank applies to surfaces free from any marks or lacking appropriate markings, openings, etc.: blank paper; a blank wall. Void emphasizes completely unfilled space with vague, unspecified, or no boundaries: void and without form.
OTHER WORDS FROM empty
emp·ti·a·ble, adjectiveemp·ti·er, nounemp·ti·ly, adverbemp·ti·ness, noun
o·ver·emp·ty, adjectivequa·si-emp·ty, adjectiveself-emp·ty·ing, adjectiveun·emp·tied, adjectiveun·emp·ty, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use empty in a sentence
The melancholy bleeds into the beautiful, without emptily aestheticizing for effect.Photographer Raymond Depardon Captures the ‘Sweet Moments’|Sarah Moroz|November 15, 2013|DAILY BEAST
But when a common fellow emptily asks me anything, I tap it on this side and that, and sift it to the bottom.The Sayings Of Confucius|Confucius
The world seemed emptily open before her once more, chill and lonely as the autumn morning.Elizabeth's Campaign|Mrs. Humphrey Ward
It fell on its back—a dead face covered with blood staring emptily at the ceiling.Erik Dorn|Ben Hecht
The spritsail flapped emptily and the boat righted to an even keel, causing the two men swiftly to change position.The Sea-Wolf|Jack London
Who would have thought that the day that began so emptily would end with two of my rooms full,—each containing a widow?In the Mountains|Elizabeth von Arnim
British Dictionary definitions for empty
/ (ˈɛmptɪ) /
adjective -tier or -tiest
without inhabitants; vacant or unoccupied
carrying no load, passengers, etc
without purpose, substance, or valuean empty life
insincere or trivialempty words
not expressive or vital; vacantshe has an empty look
(postpositive foll by of) devoid; destitutea life empty of happiness
informal drained of energy or emotionafter the violent argument he felt very empty
maths logic (of a set or class) containing no members
philosophy logic (of a name or description) having no reference
verb -ties, -tying or -tied
to make or become empty
(when intr, foll by into) to discharge (contents)
(tr often foll by of) to unburden or rid (oneself)to empty oneself of emotion
noun plural -ties
an empty container, esp a bottle
Derived forms of emptyemptiable, adjectiveemptier, nounemptily, adverbemptiness, noun
Word Origin for empty
Old English ǣmtig, from æmetta free time, from æ- without + -metta, from mōtan to be obliged to; see must 1
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with empty
In addition to the idioms beginning with empty
- empty calories
- empty nest
- empty suit
- glass is half full (half empty)
- running on empty
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.