empty word


(especially in Chinese grammar) a word or morpheme that has no lexical meaning and that functions as a grammatical link or marker, rather than as a contentive.

Nearby words

  1. empty morph,
  2. empty nest,
  3. empty nester,
  4. empty set,
  5. empty suit,
  6. empty-handed,
  7. empty-headed,
  8. empty-nest syndrome,
  9. empty-nester,
  10. empurple

Origin of empty word

First recorded in 1890–95

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019