Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Lacking intelligence; stupid or empty-headed.
  • adjective Devoid of substance or meaning; vapid or inane.
  • adjective Devoid of expression; vacant: synonym: empty.
  • adjective Lacking serious purpose or occupation; idle.
  • adjective Archaic Devoid of matter; empty.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Empty; unfilled; void; vacant.
  • Without intelligence or intelligent expression; unexpressive; showing no intelligence: as, a vacuous look.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Empty; unfilled; void; vacant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Lacking meaningful content.
  • adjective Showing a lack of thought or intelligence; vacant

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective devoid of intelligence
  • adjective devoid of matter
  • adjective devoid of significance or point
  • adjective void of expression

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From Latin vacuus, empty; see vacuum.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin vacuus ("empty, vacant")

Examples

  • Furthermore, labeling your argument vacuous is a condemnation of your argument, not of you.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Why the Arizona Law is Much Worse than the Federal Law It is Supposedly Based On

  • Scientifically vacuous is not the same as invalid.

    Cleaning Up The Mess

  • MikeGene: Scientifically vacuous is not the same as invalid.

    Cleaning Up The Mess

  • I cringe whenever I hear terms like “podosphere” or “blogsophere” but tonight, Steve made me retch like a college freshman at his first kegger with the ultimate in vacuous hyperbole: “mainstreammediaosphere”!

    CJUG

  • But, anything less than declaring ID to be scientifically vacuous is shortchanging the public, who depend on scientists to be honest.

    Professors Weigh in on Evolution - The Panda's Thumb

  • She stood in the doorway, sucking on the straw, her face the twin of Tee Bobby’s, her expression vacuous, her eyes tangled with thoughts that probably no one could ever guess at.

    Dave Robicheaux Ebook Boxed Set

  • She stood in the doorway, sucking on the straw, her face the twin of Tee Bobby’s, her expression vacuous, her eyes tangled with thoughts that probably no one could ever guess at.

    Jolie Blon’s Bounce

  • She stood in the doorway, sucking on the straw, her face the twin of Tee Bobby’s, her expression vacuous, her eyes tangled with thoughts that probably no one could ever guess at.

    Jolie Blon’s Bounce

  • She stood in the doorway, sucking on the straw, her face the twin of Tee Bobby’s, her expression vacuous, her eyes tangled with thoughts that probably no one could ever guess at.

    Dave Robicheaux Ebook Boxed Set

  • She stood in the doorway, sucking on the straw, her face the twin of Tee Bobby’s, her expression vacuous, her eyes tangled with thoughts that probably no one could ever guess at.

    Jolie Blon’s Bounce

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • This word *perfectly* describes the face of one of my students. Some days I want to walk over and check his pulse.

    September 21, 2007

  • Empty: The house was vacuous after the family left. (newbury house dic)

    October 30, 2010

  • I don't think I would describe a house as "vacuous" -- a face, an expression, a mind, yes, but not a house. For a house I would use the word "vacant". In fact, checking the Oxford American Dictionary, I see that, under "vacuous", the meaning "empty" is marked as "archaic".

    October 31, 2010

  • One knows one's madnesses, by and large. By and large the knowledge is vacuous. The notion of naming the beast to conquer it is the idiot optimism of psychotherapy. From "The Last Werewolf" by Glen Duncan.

    March 3, 2012