- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for emptying
Brabner talked about the “MTV people” coming to Cleveland to get pictures of Pekar emptying the garbage and going bowling.The Rustbelt Roars Back From the Dead
Joel Kotkin, Richey Piiparinen
December 7, 2014
I used to fantasize about emptying his Smirnoff bottle in the kitchen sink and filling it back up with water.Almost Famous: A Father's Day Story
June 15, 2014
The 27-year-old was in her element at the bash, spraying cans of Lone Star beer at the crowd and emptying a few water bottles.Lady Gaga at SXSW: Vomit, Sausage Fellatio, and a Moving Speech for Victims of the Auto Tragedy
March 14, 2014
He poured a full glass in front of him, emptying his bottle.The Fourth War: My Lunch with a Jihadi
January 21, 2014
He backpedaled up the steep stairs, so he could face the enemy while emptying his AK-47 into the pursuing assailants.The First American: Excerpt from Henry Crumpton’s ‘The Art of Intelligence’
Henry A. Crumpton
May 14, 2012
Orderlies were going about, carrying out linens, emptying pans.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
Jack Bates looked up from emptying the third spoon of sugar into his coffee.
Chip and I don't set up nights emptying our brains out our mouths.
She then went away, at her friend's entreaty, after emptying her purse in my nurse's hands.My Double Life
One morning Gervaise surprised her emptying a basket of oyster shells there.L'Assommoir
- 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 and History for emptying
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.
Idioms and Phrases with emptying
In addition to the idioms beginning with empty
- empty calories
- empty nest
- empty suit
- glass is half full (half empty)
- running on empty