[vey-kuh nt]
See more synonyms for vacant on
  1. having no contents; empty; void: a vacant niche.
  2. having no occupant; unoccupied: no vacant seats on this train.
  3. not in use: a vacant room.
  4. devoid of thought or reflection: a vacant mind.
  5. characterized by, showing, or proceeding from lack of thought or intelligence: a vacant answer; a vacant expression on a face.
  6. not occupied by an incumbent, official, or the like, as a benefice or office.
  7. free from work, business, activity, etc.: vacant hours.
  8. characterized by or proceeding from absence of occupation: a vacant life.
  9. devoid or destitute (often followed by of): He was vacant of human sympathy.
  10. Law.
    1. having no tenant and devoid of furniture, fixtures, etc. (distinguished from unoccupied): a vacant house.
    2. idle or unutilized; open to any claimant, as land.
    3. without an incumbent; having no heir or claimant; abandoned: a vacant estate.

Origin of vacant

1250–1300; Middle English < Latin vacant- (stem of vacāns, present participle of vacāre to be empty); see -ant
Related formsva·cant·ly, adverbva·cant·ness, nounnon·va·cant, adjectivenon·va·cant·ly, adverbun·va·cant, adjectiveun·va·cant·ly, adverb
Can be confusedvacant vacuous vapid

Synonyms for vacant

See more synonyms for on
1, 2. See empty. 5. blank, vacuous, inane. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for vacant

Contemporary Examples of vacant

Historical Examples of vacant

British Dictionary definitions for vacant


  1. without any contents; empty
  2. (postpositive foll by of) devoid (of something specified)
  3. having no incumbent; unoccupieda vacant post
  4. having no tenant or occupanta vacant house
  5. characterized by or resulting from lack of thought or intelligent awarenessa vacant stare
  6. (of time, etc) not allocated to any activitya vacant hour in one's day
  7. spent in idleness or inactivitya vacant life
  8. law (of an estate, etc) having no heir or claimant
Derived Formsvacantly, adverbvacantness, noun

Word Origin for vacant

C13: from Latin vacāre to be empty
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

Word Origin and History for vacant

late 13c., from Old French vacant, from Latin vacantem (nominative vacans), present participle of vacare "to be empty" (see vain). Related: Vacantly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper