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Origin of vacuum

First recorded in 1540–50; from Latin, neuter of vacuus “empty”

OTHER WORDS FROM vacuum

non·vac·u·um, adjective, noun, plural non·vac·u·ums, non·vac·u·a.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use vacuum in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for vacuum

vacuum
/ (ˈvækjʊəm) /

noun plural vacuums or vacua (ˈvækjʊə)
verb
to clean (something) with a vacuum cleanerto vacuum a carpet

Word Origin for vacuum

C16: from Latin: an empty space, from vacuus 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

Medical definitions for vacuum

vacuum
[ văkyōō-əm, -yōōm, -yəm ]

n. pl. vac•u•ums
Absence of matter.
A space empty of matter.
A space relatively empty of matter.
A space in which the pressure is significantly lower than atmospheric pressure.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for vacuum

vacuum
[ văkyōōm ]

Plural vacuums vacuua
A region of space in which there is no matter.
A region of space having extremely low gas pressure relative to surrounding pressure. The air pump of a vacuum cleaner, for example, drastically reduces the air pressure inside the device, creating a vacuum; the pressure difference causes air to rush into it, carrying dust and debris along with it.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for vacuum

vacuum

The absence of matter.

notes for vacuum

In the natural world, air will flow into regions of vacuum, giving rise to the saying “Nature abhors a vacuum.”

notes for vacuum

The saying is extended informally: in politics, a lack of leadership may be referred to as a vacuum, which will presumably be filled by others rushing in.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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