Definition of vacant in English:



  • 1(of a place) not occupied; empty.

    ‘40 per cent of the offices are still vacant’
    • ‘The site was previously occupied by a vacant detached bungalow.’
    • ‘She breezes in and sits in the vacant chair on my right.’
    • ‘There was even a vacant space next to my car when I left it.’
    • ‘There was one vacant place in the disabled parking area.’
    • ‘There is only one vacant house in the area.’
    • ‘Chris plopped into a vacant patio chair, shielding his eyes from the sun.’
    • ‘Set amid a cobbled row of upmarket mews flats, he has made the most of a vacant site to create a pair of light, spacious executive homes that blend with their historic surroundings.’
    • ‘She sat down on a vacant plastic chair, rolling her sore shoulders backwards.’
    • ‘The funding will help to improve business premises, bringing vacant or under-used floorspace back into use and assist new-build projects.’
    • ‘This ward has the most vacant lots in the city… about 600.’
    • ‘Enormous numbers of vacant units could be occupied immediately by families with these housing vouchers.’
    • ‘The vacuum left by vacant land is a powerful pull factor for new developments.’
    • ‘There were no vehicles around; the place was vacant except for a forklift and some stacked wooden crates.’
    • ‘The place has been vacant for a year.’
    • ‘Over five years ago it had decided to sell its farms when they fell vacant.’
    • ‘The man slowly pulled his vehicle into the now vacant space.’
    • ‘We were negotiating to buy property a couple of miles away when four blocks of vacant land became available across the street from my other buildings.’
    • ‘People have begun occupying vacant land.’
    • ‘The site is currently vacant and is used for environmental monitoring to ensure the former refuse site next door is not contaminating surrounding land.’
    empty, unoccupied, unfilled, free, available, not in use, unused, unengaged, uninhabited, untenanted, tenantless, to let, for sale, on the market, abandoned, deserted
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of a position or employment) not filled.
      ‘the President resigned and the post was left vacant’
      • ‘Despite the economic slowdown, there is still a need for overseas workers to fill positions that remain vacant in many industries.’
      • ‘They also demanded that the government fill all vacant positions and issue employees with at least four sets of uniforms.’
      • ‘The council adopted a policy of merging schools where the position of headteacher at one falls vacant.’
      • ‘Already-strapped budgets were being cut further and all vacant positions were frozen, leaving a staffing shortage throughout campus.’
      • ‘The post fell vacant following Stuart Gulliver's decision to take up a new academic position.’
      • ‘For a fraction of the cost of newspaper ads, companies can fill their vacant positions within days.’
      • ‘Church members are more aware of volunteer opportunities, and vacant positions are being filled.’
      • ‘It will be responsible for people's postings, promotions and assisting in filling vacant positions.’
      • ‘Robinson encourages him to apply for the deputy news editor position currently vacant at the paper.’
      • ‘More than one in 12 social worker posts are currently vacant.’
      • ‘We anticipate a severe nursing shortage in the next few years and presently do not have enough lab or x-ray techs to fill vacant positions.’
      • ‘Most hospitals are scrambling like crazy to try to fill vacant positions.’
      • ‘Three months later the vacant position at the school has still not been filled and it seems there is no sign of the position being filled in the immediate future.’
      • ‘There were nine candidates for the vacant position.’
      • ‘It decided against filling the vacant post and the position won't be reviewed until later in the year.’
      • ‘A $15 million deficit this year resulted in a freeze on filling vacant positions and buying office and classroom supplies.’
      • ‘One major concern for the depots was the amount of time required to fill vacant positions.’
      • ‘Bradford on Avon police has one special constable, a voluntary, part time position, but is planning to advertise for more people to fill vacant positions.’
      • ‘The result has been posts being left vacant for months as the University finds it hard to fill them.’
      • ‘In addition to lay-offs, another 150 vacant positions will not be filled.’
  • 2Having or showing no intelligence or interest.

    ‘a vacant stare’
    • ‘He was carrying a plastic shopping bag and had a fairly benign, but vacant, expression on his face.’
    • ‘An endless parade of hungry children with vacant expressions overwhelmed them.’
    • ‘He stared back with a vacant expression and his mouth slightly ajar.’
    • ‘In a doorway, three young boys stare out with vacant eyes, inhaling deeply from glass jars filled with glue or gasoline.’
    • ‘She just looked vacant, lost and empty; it was awful.’
    • ‘Her vacant, doe-eyed stare into the camera shows little of the star quality that would make her a Hollywood legend.’
    • ‘His vacant eyes lifted to stare out into the distance.’
    • ‘A couple seconds passed, and then his confused face turned vacant, empty.’
    • ‘He was strangely giggling but his eyes remained vacant.’
    • ‘As our flashlights shone across his face, he looked up with a lifeless, vacant expression.’
    • ‘Twenty-four pairs of glossy, vacant eyes stared back up at me and I felt my self-confidence begin to falter.’
    • ‘His eyes, vacant and glassy, stared silently at the sky.’
    • ‘She noticed Vincent's vacant look as he stared down at the river.’
    • ‘He brushed a hand through his hair, his vacant blue eyes staring off to the side.’
    • ‘As he left, he cast one last, longing glance in her direction, receiving nothing in exchange but the same cold, vacant stare from her.’
    • ‘His eyes were open but vacant, staring at something that wasn't even there.’
    • ‘He can't see my face, hasn't noticed my largely vacant expression.’
    • ‘Blake gazed at the both of them then, his face becoming more vacant.’
    • ‘She fixes those beady eyes on me, and I give her my best vacant stare back.’
    • ‘He sits in an old rocking chair on a porch, a guitar on his knee and a vacant stare on his face.’
    blank, expressionless, deadpan, inscrutable, inexpressive, poker-faced, emotionless, impassive, absent, absent-minded, uninterested, vacuous, empty, glassy, stony, wooden, motionless, lifeless, inanimate
    empty-headed, unintelligent, without thought, brainless, dense, dull-witted, thick, vacuous, inane, stupid
    View synonyms


Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin vacant- ‘remaining empty’, from the verb vacare.