Definition of vacation in English:


Line breaks: vac|ation
Pronunciation: /vəˈkeɪʃ(ə)n
, veɪ-/


  • 1A fixed holiday period between terms in universities and law courts: the Easter vacation
    More example sentences
    • 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.
    • I tended only to see them during University vacations - particularly Christmas.
  • 1.1North American A holiday: he took a vacation in the south of France people come here on vacation
    More example sentences
    • I had seen the movie in Paris while on vacation over the holidays with my partner, Christopher.
    • 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.
    holiday, holidays, trip, tour, break, mini-break, stopover; day off, recess, adjournment, furlough, rest, respite, leave of absence; leave, time off
    informal hols, vac, staycation
    formal sojourn


[no object] North American Back to top  
  • Take a holiday: I was vacationing in Europe with my family
    More example sentences
    • 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.
    • If you vacationed in California every vacation for the next 50 years you still would not run out of things to see or do.
    • My wife and I were vacationing in Spain, and Gibraltar was the second stop on our itinerary.
    holiday, take a holiday, be on holiday, take a break, travel, tour, stay, visit, stop over
    formal sojourn



noun (North American )
More example sentences
  • Most vacationers travel during peak travel times, but if you're looking to save money this year, make your travel plans for September.
  • Few vacationers would travel to Paris without taking in the Louvre, nor would they miss Broadway while visiting New York.
  • As airlines compete with low-cost carriers and try to replace business travelers with vacationers, prices have plunged.


noun (North American )
More example sentences
  • In addition, it has all the needed ingredients to make a vacation as exciting as vacationists want it to be.
  • Fishing boats for the vacationists are capably manned by experienced guides, who daily ply their little craft out into the deep waters in quest of Chesapeake fish.
  • Most vacationists would spend a week or so taking in the sights, but I bet that most of us who live here enjoy it less than those who visit.


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

More definitions of vacation

Definition of vacation in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day maelstrom
Pronunciation: ˈmeɪlstrəm
a powerful whirlpool in the sea