- having no contents; empty; void: a vacant niche.
- having no occupant; unoccupied: no vacant seats on this train.
- not in use: a vacant room.
- devoid of thought or reflection: a vacant mind.
- characterized by, showing, or proceeding from lack of thought or intelligence: a vacant answer; a vacant expression on a face.
- not occupied by an incumbent, official, or the like, as a benefice or office.
- free from work, business, activity, etc.: vacant hours.
- characterized by or proceeding from absence of occupation: a vacant life.
- devoid or destitute (often followed by of): He was vacant of human sympathy.
- having no tenant and devoid of furniture, fixtures, etc. (distinguished from unoccupied): a vacant house.
- idle or unutilized; open to any claimant, as land.
- 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
1, 2. See empty. 5. blank, vacuous, inane.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for vacantly
The pen dropped from Darnay's fingers on the table, and he looked about him vacantly.A Tale of Two Cities
He gazed at her vacantly, and, becoming reassured by degrees, burst into a wild laugh.Barnaby Rudge
"Better than all the world," echoed Ralph vacantly, and with something like a sigh.The Shadow of a Crime
He looked at her vacantly, and caught sight of her outstretched hands.Blazed Trail Stories
Stewart Edward White
He gazed at her vacantly, and she began to regret her vehemence.The Lion's Brood
- without any contents; empty
- (postpositive foll by of) devoid (of something specified)
- having no incumbent; unoccupieda vacant post
- having no tenant or occupanta vacant house
- characterized by or resulting from lack of thought or intelligent awarenessa vacant stare
- (of time, etc) not allocated to any activitya vacant hour in one's day
- spent in idleness or inactivitya vacant life
- law (of an estate, etc) having no heir or claimant
C13: from Latin vacāre to be empty
Word Origin and History for vacantly
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