- a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity, usually used for rest, recreation, or travel; recess or holiday: Schoolchildren are on vacation now.
- a part of the year, regularly set aside, when normal activities of law courts, legislatures, etc., are suspended.
- freedom or release from duty, business, or activity.
- an act or instance of vacating.
- to take or have a vacation: to vacation in the Caribbean.
Origin of vacation
- mainly British a period of the year when the law courts or universities are closed
- mainly US and Canadian a period in which a break is taken from work or studies for rest, travel, or recreationAlso called (in Britain and certain other countries) holiday
- the act of departing from or abandoning property, etc
- (intr) US and Canadian to take a vacation; holiday
Word Origin for vacation
1876, from vacation (n.). Related: Vacationed; vacationing.
late 14c., "freedom from obligations, leisure, release" (from some activity or occupation), from Old French vacation, from Latin vacationem (nominative vacatio) "leisure, a being free from duty," noun of state from past participle stem of vacare "be empty, free, or at leisure" (see vain).
Meanings "state of being unoccupied; process of vacating" are early 15c. Meaning "formal suspension of activity" (in reference to schools, courts, etc.) is recorded from mid-15c. As the U.S. equivalent of what in Britain is called a holiday, it is attested from 1878.