Origin of void

1250–1300; (adj.) Middle English voide < Anglo-French, Old French < Vulgar Latin *vocīta, feminine of *vocītus, dissimilated variant of Latin vocīvus, itself variant of vac(ī)vus empty; see vacuum; (v.) Middle English voiden < Anglo-French voider, Old French < Vulgar Latin *vocītāre, derivative of *vocītus; (noun) derivative of the adj.
Related formsvoid·ness, nounnon·void, adjective, nounpre·void, verb (used with object)un·void, adjectiveun·void·ness, noun

Synonyms for void

3, 4. See empty. 5. vacant, unoccupied. 8. vacuum.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for void

Contemporary Examples of void

Historical Examples of void

  • But just ere the silent became unendurable, a thought appeared in the void.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • Inspector Burke himself filled the void in the halting sentence.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • The Trainer's admonition seemed like a cry to a cyclone, as void of usefulness.


    W. A. Fraser

  • As this marriage was null and void, there was no Marchioness of Morella.

    Fair Margaret

    H. Rider Haggard

  • And not a muscle of his face stirred; he simply gazed into the void.

British Dictionary definitions for void



without contents; empty
not legally bindingnull and void
(of an office, house, position, etc) without an incumbent; unoccupied
(postpositive foll by of) destitute or devoidvoid of resources
having no effect; uselessall his efforts were rendered void
(of a card suit or player) having no cards in a particular suithis spades were void


an empty space or areathe huge desert voids of Asia
a feeling or condition of loneliness or deprivationhis divorce left him in a void
a lack of any cards in one suitto have a void in spades
Also called: counter the inside area of a character of type, such as the inside of an o

verb (mainly tr)

to make ineffective or invalid
to empty (contents, etc) or make empty of contents
(also intr) to discharge the contents of (the bowels or urinary bladder)
archaic to vacate (a place, room, etc)
obsolete to expel
Derived Formsvoider, nounvoidness, noun

Word Origin for void

C13: from Old French vuide, from Vulgar Latin vocītus (unattested), 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 void

late 13c., "unoccupied, vacant," from Anglo-French and Old French voide "empty, vast, wide, hollow, waste," from Latin vocivus "unoccupied, vacant," related to vacuus "empty" (see vacuum). Meaning "lacking or wanting" (something) is recorded from early 15c. Meaning "legally invalid" is attested from mid-15c.


"empty space, vacuum," 1727; see void (adj.).


"to clear" (some place, of something), c.1300, from void (adj.); meaning "to deprive (something) of legal validity" is attested from early 14c. Related: Voided; voiding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

void in Medicine




To excrete body wastes.


Containing no matter; empty.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with void


see null and void.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.