[ vak-yoo-uh s ]
/ ˈvæk yu əs /


without contents; empty: the vacuous air.
lacking in ideas or intelligence: a vacuous mind.
expressing or characterized by a lack of ideas or intelligence; inane; stupid: a vacuous book.
purposeless; idle: a vacuous way of life.

Origin of vacuous

1645–55; < Latin vacuus empty; see -ous
Related forms
Can be confusedvacant vacuous vapid Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for vacuous

British Dictionary definitions for vacuous


/ (ˈvækjʊəs) /


containing nothing; empty
bereft of ideas or intelligence; mindless
characterized by or resulting from vacancy of minda vacuous gaze
indulging in no useful mental or physical activity; idle
logic maths (of an operator or expression) having no import; idle: in (x) (John is tall) the quantifier (x) is vacuous
Derived Formsvacuously, adverbvacuousness, noun

Word Origin for vacuous

C17: from Latin vacuus empty, 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 vacuous



1640s, "empty," from Latin vacuus "empty, void, free" (see vacuum). Figurative sense of "empty of ideas" is from 1848. Related: Vacuously; vacuousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper