Share this entry

vacuous Syllabification: vac·u·ous
Pronunciation: /ˈvakyo͞oəs/

Definition of vacuous in English:


1Having or showing a lack of thought or intelligence; mindless: a vacuous smile vacuous slogans
More example sentences
  • Choices based on the most minute reasoning but lacking any desire are vacuous.
  • You'll see their vacuous smiles, but their sad eyes will betray how hollow and unhappy they really are.
  • In short, what we have here is a veritable orgy of vacuous generalities and meaningless slogans.
informal dumb, moronic, brain-dead, fluffy, fluffball
1.1 archaic Empty.
Example sentences
  • A vacuous, empty space is present in almost all locations throughout the film and successfully captures the enormous lack of love Barry feels.
  • On the second floor, I stepped into a vacuous, empty office space.
  • There was less than a minute of silence, and then two police cruisers tore down the vacuous street with their sirens on and stopped in front of the restaurant.


Mid 17th century (in the sense 'empty of matter'): from Latin vacuus 'empty' + -ous.



Pronunciation: /ˈvakyo͞oəslē/
Example sentences
  • It provides us no cover to assert vacuously that we are doing what the Supreme Court commands.
  • She was intelligent and coherent and not the least bit cosy or vacuously spiritual.
  • Your statement is probably vacuously true.


Pronunciation: /ˈvakyo͞oəsnəs/
Example sentences
  • But I don't think I can set aside my prejudices about the vacuousness of life in suburban sprawl.
  • I have been conducting an experiment aimed at analysing the intensifying silliness, stupidity and vacuousness of the world.
  • But on a much larger level, it just shows once again the utter vacuousness of our electoral system.

Words that rhyme with vacuous

superfluous • congruous

Definition of vacuous in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day exemplum
Pronunciation: ɪɡˈzɛmpləm
an example or model...