vac·uum (văkym, -yəm, -y-əm)
n. pl. vac·uums or vac·u·a (-y-ə)
a. Absence of matter.
b. A space empty of matter.
c. A space relatively empty of matter.
d. A space in which the pressure is significantly lower than atmospheric pressure.
2. A state of emptiness; a void.
3. A state of being sealed off from external or environmental influences; isolation.
4. pl. vac·uums A vacuum cleaner.
1. Of, relating to, or used to create a vacuum.
2. Containing air or other gas at a reduced pressure.
3. Operating by means of suction or by maintaining a partial vacuum.
tr. & intr.v. vac·uumed, vac·uum·ing, vac·uums
To clean with or use a vacuum cleaner.
[Latin, empty space, from neuter of vacuus, empty, from vacāre, to be empty; see euə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus