[ vey-key-shuhn, vuh- ]
See synonyms for: vacationvacationedvacationingvacationer on

  1. 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.

  2. a part of the year, regularly set aside, when normal activities of law courts, legislatures, etc., are suspended.

  1. freedom or release from duty, business, or activity.

  2. an act or instance of vacating.

verb (used without object)
  1. to take or have a vacation: to vacation in the Caribbean.

Origin of vacation

First recorded in 1350–1400; from Latin vacātiōn-, stem of vacātiō “freedom from something”; equivalent to vacate + -ion; replacing Middle English vacacioun, from Anglo-French

Other words from vacation

  • va·ca·tion·er, va·ca·tion·ist, noun
  • va·ca·tion·less, adjective
  • min·i·va·ca·tion, noun
  • pre·va·ca·tion, noun, adjective

Words that may be confused with vacation

Words Nearby vacation Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use vacation in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for vacation


/ (vəˈkeɪʃən) /

  1. mainly British a period of the year when the law courts or universities are closed

  2. mainly US and Canadian a period in which a break is taken from work or studies for rest, travel, or recreation: Also called (in Britain and certain other countries) holiday

  1. the act of departing from or abandoning property, etc

  1. (intr) US and Canadian to take a vacation; holiday

Origin of vacation

C14: from Latin vacātiō freedom, from vacāre to be empty

Derived forms of vacation

  • vacationless, adjective

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