One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Having or showing a lack of thought or intelligence; mindless.‘a vacuous smile’‘vacuous slogans’
blank, vacant, expressionless, deadpan, inscrutable, inexpressive, poker-faced, emotionless, impassive, absent, absent-minded, uninterested, empty, glassy, stony, wooden, motionless, lifeless, inanimateempty-headed, unintelligent, without thought, brainless, dense, dull-witted, thick, vacant, inane, stupidView synonyms
- ‘Some might say that it's because the actors are silly, strident, vacuous, and self-important.’
- ‘For many, the book was a microcosm of the vacuous 1980s, a period in American history when youngsters stood for nothing and believed in nothing.’
- ‘Can there be anything more futile than to combine the huge range of music we find under the vapid and vacuous heading Easy Listening?’
- ‘Choices based on the most minute reasoning but lacking any desire are vacuous.’
- ‘We should argue about how things are, not seek to win arguments with vacuous comparisons designed to evoke revulsion without thought.’
- ‘He's a young, concerned citizen who, like so many of us, is turned off by the negative and vacuous campaigns run by candidates of both major parties.’
- ‘Ultimately, it's a completely empty, vacuous product, carefully crafted to make lots and lots of money.’
- ‘If only the museum had been given a fraction of the budget wasted on silly stunts and vacuous indulgences of the Capital of Culture bid, its future would be assured.’
- ‘This piece struck me as one of the most vacuous and shallow pieces of writing I've seen in a very long time.’
- ‘From his face you can see nothing but a kind of goofy good-nature, and the vacuous, half-baked expression of a child bewildered by all the strange things that are going on all around him.’
- ‘So is there any genuinely interesting news in all this vacuous Hollywood house-hunting nonsense?’
- ‘In short, what we have here is a veritable orgy of vacuous generalities and meaningless slogans.’
- ‘He attempts to revisit the concept of intelligence but comes to the vacuous conclusion that it can't be defined.’
- ‘She's perfected that smiling art of PR deflection, of projecting a sweetly vacuous wholesomeness.’
- ‘You'll see their vacuous smiles, but their sad eyes will betray how hollow and unhappy they really are.’
- ‘Belief and unbelief, so important to the intellectual posturing of modern existence, are innocuous, vacuous terms.’
- ‘If the Nationalists had simply parroted their trite, intellectually vacuous opposition, then that would have been no more or less than expected.’
- ‘I have been repelled by attempts to portray him as a vacuous man with an artificial smile and no convictions.’
- ‘The story may seem vacuous because of its clear lack of progression, but then, maybe that's the point of it.’
- ‘It transformed his face, giving his normally vacuous gaze a look of both intelligence and awareness.’
- 1.1archaic Empty.
- ‘A vacuous, empty space is present in almost all locations throughout the film and successfully captures the enormous lack of love Barry feels.’
- ‘There was less than a minute of silence, and then two police cruisers tore down the vacuous street with their sirens on and stopped in front of the restaurant.’
- ‘On the second floor, I stepped into a vacuous, empty office space.’
Mid 17th century (in the sense ‘empty of matter’): from Latin vacuus ‘empty’ + -ous.
Top tips for CV writingRead more
In this article we explore how to impress employers with a spot-on CV.