empty


empty
empty adj
1 Empty, vacant, blank, void, vacuous mean lacking the contents that could or should be present.
Something is empty which has nothing in it; something is vacant which is without an occupant, incumbent, tenant, inmate, or the person or thing it appropriately contains
{

an empty bucket

}
{

his purse was empty

}
{

empty-handed

}
{

a vacant professorship

}
{

a vacant apartment

}
When qualifying the same nouns the words usually suggest distinctly different ideas; thus, an empty house has neither furniture nor occupants; a vacant house is without inmates and presumably for rent or for sale; an empty chair has no one sitting in it at the time; a vacant chair is one that has lost its usual occupant by death or other cause; an empty space has nothing in it; a vacant space is one left to be filled with what is appropriate
{

[it] enabled him to fill a place which would else have been vacantHawthorne

}
Something, especially a surface, is blank which is free from writing or marks or which has vacant spaces that are left to be filled in
{

a blank page

}
{

a blank application

}
Something is void which is absolutely empty so far as the senses can discover
{

a conscience void of offense

}
{

sandy wilderness, all black and voidWordsworth

}
{

the void, hollow, universal air— Shelley

}
Something is vacuous which exhibits the absolute emptiness of a vacuum
{

the vacuous globe of an incandescent lamp

}
In extended use the same distinctions hold: an empty mind is destitute of worthwhile ideas or knowledge; a vacant mind lacks its usual occupant, the soul or intellect; a blank look is without expression; a person is said to be void of learning or of common sense when not the slightest evidence of either one can be detected; a vacuous mind, look, or expression is so deficient in alertness or spirit as to suggest a vacuum in its inanity
{

the unthinking mind is not necessarily dull, rude, or impervious; it is probably simply emptyEliot

}
{

the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind— Goldsmith

}
{

his eyes had that blank fixed gaze . . . that babies' eyes have— M. E. Freeman

}
{

it is dull and void as a work of artMontague

}
{

there was nothing to be read in the vacuous face, blank as a school notice board out of term— Greene

}
Analogous words: *devoid, destitute, void: *bare, barren: exhausted, drained, depleted (see DEPLETE)
Antonyms: full
Contrasted words: replete, complete (see FULL)
2 idle, hollow, *vain, nugatory, otiose
Analogous words: inane, *insipid, vapid, flat, jejune, banal: trifling, trivial, paltry, *petty: fruitless, *futile, vain, bootless
Contrasted words: significant, meaningful, pregnant (see EXPRESSIVE): genuine, *authentic, veritable, bona fide

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Empty — Emp ty (?; 215), a. [Compar. {Emptier}; superl. {Emptiest}.] [AS. emtig, [ae]mtig, [ae]metig, fr. [ae]mta, [ae]metta, quiet, leisure, rest; of uncertain origin; cf. G. emsig busy.] 1. Containing nothing; not holding or having anything within;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • empty — [emp′tē] adj. emptier, emptiest [ME emti & (with intrusive p ) empti < OE æmettig, unoccupied, lit., at leisure < æmetta, leisure (< æ , without + base of motan, to have to: see MUST1) + ig, Y2] 1. containing nothing; having nothing in… …   English World dictionary

  • empty — ► ADJECTIVE (emptier, emptiest) 1) containing nothing; not filled or occupied. 2) having no meaning or likelihood of fulfilment: an empty threat. 3) having no value or purpose. ► VERB (empties, emptied) …   English terms dictionary

  • empty — c.1200, from O.E. æmettig at leisure, not occupied, unmarried, from æmetta leisure, from æ not + metta, from motan to have (see MIGHT (Cf. might)). The p is a euphonic insertion. Sense evolution from at leisure to empty is paralleled in several… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Empty — Emp ty, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Emptied}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Emptying}.] To deprive of the contents; to exhaust; to make void or destitute; to make vacant; to pour out; to discharge; as, to empty a vessel; to empty a well or a cistern. [1913 Webster]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • empty — [adj1] containing nothing abandoned, bare, barren, blank, clear, dead, deflated, depleted, desert, deserted, desolate, despoiled, destitute, devoid, dry, evacuated, exhausted, forsaken, godforsaken*, hollow, lacking, stark, unfilled, unfurnished …   New thesaurus

  • empty of — completely without (something) The arena was empty of spectators. The streets are now empty of traffic. • • • Main Entry: ↑empty …   Useful english dictionary

  • Empty — Emp ty, n.; pl. {Empties}. An empty box, crate, cask, etc.; used in commerce, esp. in transportation of freight; as, special rates for empties. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Empty — Emp ty, v. i. 1. To discharge itself; as, a river empties into the ocean. [1913 Webster] 2. To become empty. The chapel empties. B. Jonson. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • empty — index barren, baseless, consume, deficient, deplete, devoid, diminish, dissipate (expend foolishly), evacuate …   Law dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.