Definition of vacation in English:



  • 1A fixed holiday period between terms in universities and law courts.

    ‘the Easter vacation’
    • ‘I tended only to see them during University vacations - particularly Christmas.’
    • ‘But we were only able to be together during summer vacations and mid term break.’
    • ‘Next time the kids are on school vacation, I'm hiring a sitter and going to work.’
    • ‘During our university vacations, we took jobs as herds people in the Alps, running after cattle for three months out of the year and sleeping in rickety huts and stables.’
    • ‘When I was at home for university vacations, he would sit listening to me intently, head tilted to one side, as I poured out all the problems of an average early twenty-something.’
    • ‘We've finished school this year and are going to university after summer vacation.’
    • ‘Students on long-term tertiary courses may, on application, work for 15 hours per week during term time, and for extended hours during vacations.’
    • ‘There must surely be ways of, for example, employing undergraduates during vacations to enthuse these would-be physicists in labs that would otherwise be lying empty.’
    • ‘Holidays and school vacations are to be shared equally.’
    • ‘Some universities will cancel the usual summer vacations from mid-July to the end of August as part of the effort to prevent the spread of the disease.’
    • ‘After a summer vacation, most children look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones as they return to school.’
    • ‘I am staring a three-and-a-bit months University vacation in the face.’
    • ‘With a vacation period coming up, the magistrate put off the case until August 13.’
    • ‘The application came before me as the vacation judge.’
    • ‘The time block of the traditional extended summer vacation is redistributed in the form of shorter breaks throughout the year.’
    • ‘Her best friend and her parents went to Europe every summer for 2 months during the school vacation period.’
    • ‘As I regard this case as sufficiently important, I will come in during the vacation if there is a problem.’
    • ‘I was by this time living in Cambridge, having won a scholarship to the university, and stayed with her only during my vacations.’
    • ‘The vacation period was a nightmare for many because they had to explore alternative methods of generating income.’
    • ‘This was during Christmas break, and Brent was still supposedly on vacation from school.’
    • ‘Because the Scottish courts are currently on a vacation period, only one judge will hear the appeal, instead of two.’
    1. 1.1North American An extended period of leisure and recreation, especially one spent away from home or in travelling; a holiday.
      ‘he took a vacation in the south of France’
      ‘people come here on vacation’
      • ‘While packing, I browse through some photos and I come across some of me on vacation with a former boyfriend.’
      • ‘Hotels reduce rates, airfare prices drop and vacation packages may be hundreds less.’
      • ‘We decided to just go on vacation and take advantage of our spring break.’
      • ‘While planning a long fishing vacation, there are a couple of obvious choices to be made.’
      • ‘I had seen the movie in Paris while on vacation over the holidays with my partner, Christopher.’
      • ‘On vacation some people are determined to keep the cell phone charged up and ready to rip wherever they go.’
      • ‘I've got a week and a half more at work before my vacation starts.’
      • ‘I went on vacation last week, and somehow managed to leave the refrigerator door open.’
      • ‘I will be leaving on vacation in two days and will not be able to do much else except put down ideas in my traveling notebook.’
      • ‘Three-day family vacation packages cost $155 per person, including activities and meals.’
      • ‘This week is going to be a little hectic since I'm trying to get so many things done before I leave on vacation.’
      • ‘Everyone was exchanging gifts in the halls and people were leaving to go on vacation and to go visit family members.’
      • ‘Months later I flew to the United States to spend a month-long vacation.’
      • ‘Remember when you thought that an annual two-week vacation was a necessity?’
      • ‘Croatian workers receive at least four weeks of vacation per year, in addition to national holidays.’
      • ‘"We specialise in providing the best adventure vacations for people who want a personal and tailored travel service.’
      • ‘In fact, over the holidays the mom was off on vacation for two weeks and didn't spend one of those days with her son.’
      • ‘I don't usually get up early when I'm on vacation either, but this trip is a worthwhile exception.’
      • ‘First, I have not been on vacation, I don't even know what a vacation is anymore.’
      • ‘On vacation, I would check in with the office three or four times a day.’
      • ‘He knew he was leaving the next day and that he had booked a vacation for 3 weeks.’
      • ‘Please take the time to get enough rest, not only on vacation, but everyday.’
      • ‘Whether they're on a business trip or on vacation, these travelers are often in spending mode.’
      • ‘His friends are all on vacation, leaving him bored and lonesome.’
      • ‘They left to go on vacation around ten this morning.’
      • ‘Typically honeymooners tend to enjoy beach vacations as honeymoon destinations.’
      • ‘Before you leave on vacation, follow these tips and feel more secure about your home being vacant.’
      holiday, holidays, trip, tour, break, mini-break, stopover
      View synonyms
  • 2mass noun The action of leaving something one previously occupied.

    ‘his marriage was the reason for the vacation of his fellowship’
    • ‘On the vacation of the post, the senior masters assembled and discussed eligible candidates.’
    • ‘He was again unopposed on the vacation of his seat.’
    • ‘His vacation of the midfield also enabled Jamie Buchan to get back to his favoured position in midfield after a long spell at left back.’
    quitting, evacuation, abandonment, desertion, relinquishment, leaving
    View synonyms


[no object]North American
  • Take a holiday.

    ‘I was vacationing in Europe with my family’
    • ‘If you find vacationing in a rental property more comfortable than hotel rooms, give no second thought to your choice.’
    • ‘Many of you may have travelled or simply spent long weekends by the sea vacationing with family and friends.’
    • ‘If you vacationed in California every vacation for the next 50 years you still would not run out of things to see or do.’
    • ‘Three subjects did not want to complete the study because they did not want to wear gloves while vacationing in Florida.’
    • ‘My wife and I always enjoy going for a jog, and we were vacationing somewhere where we were running every day.’
    • ‘‘I had just vacationed in India in December visiting relatives, and was excited to hear my unit was chosen to deploy there,’ he said.’
    • ‘I spent about 15 percent of my time in Hawaii, and my children essentially grew up vacationing in Hawaii.’
    • ‘He might love Chinese food and enjoy vacationing in Rome, but ultimately he considers himself a New Yorker.’
    • ‘It could, however, make you think twice about vacationing in Europe.’
    • ‘My wife and I were vacationing in Spain, and Gibraltar was the second stop on our itinerary.’
    • ‘While some folks escape winter by vacationing to Mexico, Hawaii and Florida, why give up the ski days?’
    • ‘She Indiana, was vacationing with her family at Yellowstone National Park in the 1980s when she lost her wallet.’
    • ‘His wife and boys were vacationing down the Jersey shore at his in-laws' summer home in August 1997.’
    • ‘I've been vacationing down in Mexico before, but Venezuela was a whole new level of poverty I had never seen before.’
    • ‘We were vacationing in Spain.’
    • ‘A total of 2,714,000 foreign tourists vacationed in Bulgaria in the first seven months of the year, seven per cent more than the same period a year ago.’
    • ‘He was out of the country, vacationing in Mexico, but he arranged for a public relations firm to fax a prepared statement to the media.’
    • ‘This break is long overdue, considering he hasn't vacationed in years and he even spends his weekends travelling to the company's agencies throughout Bulgaria - for work and pleasure.’
    • ‘I was vacationing at a ski resort, and I saw this really cute boy skiing down the mountain beside me.’
    • ‘We all vacation together in Maine (though until the past two years, not in the same house).’
    holiday, take a holiday, be on holiday, take a break, travel, tour, stay, visit, stop over
    View synonyms


Late Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin vacatio(n-), from vacare ‘be unoccupied’ (see vacate).