[vey-key-shuh n, vuh-]


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 formsva·ca·tion·er, va·ca·tion·ist, nounva·ca·tion·less, adjectivemin·i·va·ca·tion, nounpre·va·ca·tion, noun, adjective
Can be confusedvacation vocation Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for vacationing

Contemporary Examples of vacationing

Historical Examples of vacationing

  • And their homes were admirably located for vacationing, too.

  • That they had come to her meetings in large numbers while vacationing in Saratoga Springs, this was important.

  • While my pals were vacationing I was ranching, and ranching under Old Nick is no vacation.

    The Trail of Conflict

    Emilie Baker Loring

  • Amy said that Jessie kept them so hard at work that it did not seem at all as though they were vacationing.

  • Harrison was vacationing and he viewed the emergency contact from Intersolar Spaceport with annoyance.

    The Sword

    Frank Quattrocchi

British Dictionary definitions for vacationing



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 Formsvacationless, 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

Word Origin and History for vacationing



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper