- containing nothing; having none of the usual or appropriate contents: an empty bottle.
- 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.
- Mathematics. (of a set) containing no elements; null; void.
- hungry: I'm feeling rather empty—let's have lunch.
- without knowledge or sense; frivolous; foolish: an empty head.
- completely spent of emotion: The experience had left him with an empty heart.
- 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.
- to become empty: The room emptied rapidly after the lecture.
- to discharge contents, as a river: The river empties into the sea.
- Informal. something that is empty, as a box, bottle, or can: Throw the empties into the waste bin.
Origin of empty
Synonyms for emptySee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Antonyms for empty
Related Words for emptinessdesolation, vacuum, destitution, blank, hollowness, gap, vacancy, chasm, vacuity, waste, exhaustion, inanition
Examples from the Web for emptiness
Contemporary Examples of emptiness
Netherland, published in 2008, attempted to capture a feeling of emptiness in the West after the catastrophic events of 9/11.Joseph O'Neill's 'The Dog' Has a Dystopian Dubai as Modernity's Stand-In
September 8, 2014
When I contemplate God among the dead I find only emptiness and silence.How Losing My Daughter Changed My Faith
June 15, 2014
Now I think that many are beginning to experience the rawness of the trauma, emptiness, and loss.Newtown’s Pastor, Three Months Later
March 24, 2013
“I walk around with an emptiness that no one or anything has been able to fill,” she wrote.34 Years Later, Gunshots Still Echo From a Senseless Killing
March 11, 2013
Of a Sunday, Wall-street is deserted as Petra; and every night of every day it is an emptiness.David's Bookclub: Bartleby the Scrivener
November 26, 2012
Historical Examples of emptiness
Say, Stilly, I'm off uptown to attend to the emptiness in this stone utensil.In the Midst of Alarms
And fiercely in a bewildered way I rebelled against this emptiness.The Harbor
As yet, however, nobody about the house had any suspicion of the emptiness of the treasury.Cleo The Magnificent
The battle field was described by the Germans as "an emptiness."
A ship from Orede had come out of overdrive and lay dead in emptiness.Pariah Planet
- containing nothing
- 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
- informal hungry
- (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
- 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
- an empty container, esp a bottle
Word Origin for empty
c.1200, from Old English æmettig "at leisure, not occupied, unmarried," from æmetta "leisure," from æ "not" + -metta, from motan "to have" (see might (n.)). The -p- is a euphonic insertion.
Sense evolution from "at leisure" to "empty" is paralleled in several languages, e.g. Modern Greek adeios "empty," originally "freedom from fear," from deios "fear." "The adj. adeios must have been applied first to persons who enjoyed freedom from duties, leisure, and so were unoccupied, whence it was extended to objects that were unoccupied" [Buck].
The adjective also yielded a verb (1520s), replacing Middle English empten, from Old English geæmtigian. Related: Emptied; emptying. Figurative sense of empty-nester first attested 1987. Empty-handed attested from 1610s.
In addition to the idioms beginning with empty
- empty calories
- empty nest
- empty suit
- glass is half full (half empty)
- running on empty