[ vey-key-shuh n, vuh- ]
/ veɪˈkeɪ ʃən, və- /


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.

verb (used without object)

to take or have a vacation: to vacation in the Caribbean.

Origin of vacation

1350–1400; < Latin vacātiōn- (stem of vacātiō freedom from something; see vacate, -ion); replacing Middle English vacacioun < Anglo-French

Related forms

va·ca·tion·er, va·ca·tion·ist, nounva·ca·tion·less, adjectivemin·i·va·ca·tion, nounpre·va·ca·tion, noun, adjective

Can be confused

vacation vocation Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for vacation

British Dictionary definitions for vacation


/ (vəˈkeɪʃən) /


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

Derived Forms

vacationless, adjective

Word Origin for vacation

C14: from Latin vacātiō freedom, from 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