Definition of vacuum in English:

vacuum

noun

  • 1A space entirely devoid of matter.

    • ‘Radiation, for example, is the only method by which internal energy can be transferred through a vacuum.’
    • ‘The absence of light, a void, a vacuum, nothingness is so extraordinary that it can only be part of the pre-creation world.’
    • ‘A jet engine requires oxygen from the atmosphere for combustion, and so cannot operate in the vacuum of space.’
    • ‘Not only was the cosmos expanding, but a repulsive pressure within the vacuum of space was also causing the expansion to accelerate.’
    • ‘One doesn't determine the temperature of a vacuum.’
    • ‘He suggested that in the first split second after the beginning, the vacuum of the Universe existed in a highly energetic state, as allowed by the quantum rules, but unstable.’
    • ‘The expansion of helium into a vacuum corresponds to a significant change in entropy but to a trivial change in energy.’
    • ‘In the near vacuum of space, they travel along together.’
    • ‘A vacuum, which is not spatial, that is, a vacuum which does not even contain space, does not exist, and has never existed!’
    • ‘I am curious as to exactly when scientists found out that space is a vacuum and not made up of ether?’
    • ‘He conceived of the Void as a vacuum, an infinite space in which moved an infinite number of atoms that made up Being.’
    • ‘Just as nature is said to abhor a vacuum, it abhors true altruism.’
    • ‘Dangers in the lunar environment include radiation, extreme temperatures, and the vacuum of space.’
    • ‘In the old days of classical mechanics the idea of a vacuum was simple.’
    • ‘They operate like any rocket engine in the vacuum of space, by propelling gases in one direction to create an opposite and equal force on the craft.’
    • ‘Operating in the near vacuum of space, ion engines shoot out the propellant gas much faster than the jet of a chemical rocket.’
    • ‘Cass is a physicist who wants the final confirmation of the theory by creating a perfect vacuum, the conditions under which the original Big Bang occurred.’
    • ‘The vacuum triggers dark energy to materialize into matter and radiation in another Big Bang, refreshing the cycle of expansion.’
    • ‘Studying the plasma, scientists could expose the fundamental nature of matter and the vacuum that permeates the cosmos.’
    • ‘Since by definition it contains no matter, the vacuum of space itself has NO temperature.’
    empty space, emptiness, void, nothingness, vacuity, vacancy
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A space or container from which the air has been completely or partly removed.
      • ‘The chamber was then put into a vacuum overnight to remove any remaining trace of organic solvent.’
      • ‘After venting to release the vacuum, he removed the detector flange.’
      • ‘The old lamps burned in groups of nine or ten, whilst the new were in pairs and instead of burning in the air the carbon was in a chamber in which there was a partial vacuum.’
      • ‘He creates a vacuum in a glass container, and places one atom of carbon into it.’
      • ‘The partial vacuum in the chamber will cause the instrument to register, say, 35,000 feet when it is, in fact, only a few hundred feet above sea level.’
      • ‘The oxygen used by the lighted flame created the vacuum.’
    2. 1.2[usually in singular]A gap left by the loss, death, or departure of someone or something formerly playing a significant part in a situation or activity.
      ‘the political vacuum left by the death of the Emperor’
      • ‘In that sense, globalization has indeed created a huge spiritual vacuum.’
      • ‘The loss of those 37,000 troops will create a power vacuum, as happened at the turn of the 19th century.’
      • ‘The political vacuum could be filled as early as Wednesday but leaders are prepared for much longer discussions if the rank and file throw out their recommendations.’
      • ‘Because he has held the reins of power so tightly and for so long, there were predictions that his departure would leave a vacuum of power and generate chaos.’
      • ‘A political vacuum must be avoided at all costs.’
      • ‘The Bill addresses a regulatory vacuum which exists at national and international levels.’
      • ‘In such a vacuum of political criticism, one might expect national newspaper columnists to step in and make coherent remarks upon government policy.’
      • ‘He is already looking ahead to other ideas to fill the vacuum which was created in Ripon when it lost 800 students and an estimated £4.5m a year from the city's economy.’
      • ‘The resulting vacuum of leadership left space for new peace leaders.’
      • ‘In rural Scotland the retiral of a sitting MP always creates a vacuum which other political parties rush to fill.’
      • ‘We hope that this denomination will be faithful to God and will fill the spiritual vacuum left by liberalism.’
      • ‘There will not be a security vacuum in that area at any time.’
      • ‘Parliamentary elections in 2001 were easy because in 1999 it was obvious that there was a political vacuum needing to be filled in the society.’
      • ‘The vacuum created by his death 24 years back still remains unfilled.’
      • ‘The vacuum created by their departure was filled by the club's most committed supporters, who set about raising money and bringing the club back from the brink.’
      • ‘A Council spokesman assured residents services would be unaffected by the political vacuum.’
      • ‘The Greens hope to exploit the resulting political vacuum to take over the " balance of power " in parliament.’
      • ‘Perhaps the existential angst of one man is also meant as a reflection on the moral vacuum at the heart of a country partly known for its kidnapping, crime and corruption.’
      • ‘There can't be a moral vacuum at the heart of this.’
      • ‘The apparently spontaneous nature of the uprising has created a political vacuum which may be hard to fill.’
  • 2A vacuum cleaner.

    • ‘Distractions such as rattles, music, or even running a vacuum, washing machine, or blow-dryer may be amusing or comforting to your baby.’
    • ‘A stump grinder was on hand, and two high-powered vacuums sucked up leaves.’
    • ‘Use the wand attachment on a vacuum to remove all dust.’
    • ‘Best for those with allergies or asthma, these vacuums contain filters to clean the air.’
    • ‘Use a shop vacuum to remove all remaining dirt from the cracks to be filled.’
    • ‘It would be another ten years before the electric vacuum, iron, and frying pan became available as consumer products.’
    • ‘After the surface has dried, use a vacuum to remove the powder that is created by etching.’
    • ‘This is a combination stick and handheld (dust buster style) vacuum and is proving to be perfect for my small apartment.’
    • ‘A brush will remove some dust if you do not have a vacuum, but will also scatter dust around.’
    • ‘The noise of the vacuum was entirely drowned out by the undistinguishable howls and screams of some rock singer.’
    vacuum cleaner
    View synonyms

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Clean with a vacuum cleaner.

    ‘the room needs to be vacuumed’
    • ‘A truck comes and vacuums out the tanks every month.’
    • ‘I'm putting extra zeal into my scrubbing, dusting, vacuuming and cleaning.’
    • ‘Most people believe that vacuuming the carpet is essential for the control of head lice.’
    • ‘The carpets were vacuumed and the bathroom was completely scrubbed clean.’
    • ‘Next thing we know he'll be vacuuming the floor and dusting the shelves.’
    • ‘I was just vacuuming the floor when I found a knife between the kitchen bench and the computer desk.’
    • ‘If this is just a musty smell, then vacuuming it out and masking it with potpourri or airing it out for a while might help.’
    • ‘On Saturday he vacuumed and cleaned the kitchen.’
    • ‘Year in, year out, the display remained unchanged, though it was scrupulously vacuumed and dusted.’
    • ‘Kids don't care if the room has been vacuumed and cleaned.’
    • ‘Sand slowly so you don't go through the veneer and vacuum frequently to remove dust.’
    • ‘Harriet vacuumed the carpet and dusted the living room.’
    • ‘How long can I ignore the fact that the living room hasn't been vacuumed all week?’
    • ‘Apparently while I've been at work my son has cleaned up the house, even vacuuming it!’
    • ‘I was just finishing up vacuuming the living room, when the phone rang.’
    • ‘Make sure that the school is vacuumed and dusted regularly, that it's routinely treated by a pest control company, and that it's completely smoke free.’
    • ‘Before washing, dust or vacuum walls to remove loose soil.’
    • ‘You avoid vacuuming the house as long as possible because your dog is afraid of the vacuum cleaner.’
    • ‘I was sick of being the only one who vacuumed common areas, cleaned the bath and toilet or did a load of dishes without quibbling whether I'd eaten off them.’
    • ‘As she was vacuuming the floor and thinking about the trip, the phone rang.’
    vacuum-clean
    hoover
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • in a vacuum

    • (of an activity or a problem to be considered) isolated from the context normal to it and in which it can best be understood or assessed.

      • ‘My point is that those comments were made in a certain historical era and not in a vacuum.’
      • ‘It wasn't as though the summit occurred in a vacuum without any prior events.’
      • ‘We cannot exist in a vacuum, in isolation from what's happening in other parts of the world.’
      • ‘Experts point out that illnesses do not occur in a vacuum but rather in the context of society.’
      • ‘But what we must remember is that the decision to hold elections did not emerge in a vacuum.’
      • ‘While the film may be primarily an artistic statement, it does not exist like so much art, in a vacuum, but is placed firmly in context.’
      • ‘The problem is that an individual's work choices don't operate in a vacuum.’
      • ‘After all, the governments don't operate in a vacuum, they are elected and supported by majorities.’
      • ‘The important point is that politics does not operate in a vacuum.’
      • ‘All this artistic and scientific activity did not, of course, take place in a vacuum.’

Origin

Mid 16th century: modern Latin, neuter of Latin vacuus empty.

Pronunciation:

vacuum

/ˈvakˌyo͞o(ə)m/