Definition of vacation in English:

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Pronunciation: /vəˈkeɪʃ(ə)n/


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
North American informal vacay
formal sojourn
2 [mass noun] The action of leaving something one previously occupied: his marriage was the reason for the vacation of his fellowship
More example sentences
  • His vacation of the midfield also enabled Jamie Buchan to get back to his favoured position in midfield after a long spell at left back.
  • On the vacation of the post, the senior masters assembled and discussed eligible candidates.
  • He was again unopposed on the vacation of his seat.
quitting, evacuation, abandonment, desertion, relinquishment, leaving;
departure from, exit from, withdrawal from


[no object] North American
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



Pronunciation: /veɪˈkeɪʃnə/
noun (North American )
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 )
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).

  • People did not really have holidays in the Middle Ages, and vacation was freedom or rest from work or occupation. The root of the word is Latin vacare ‘to be unoccupied’, source also of vacancy (late 16th century), vacant (Middle English), and vacate (mid 17th century). The vacation then became the fixed time between terms when lawyers and university teachers vacate their premises and are free from formal duties. In North America it is the usual word for a holiday, a sense first used in the 1870s; a holiday is normally a specific national holiday such as Thanksgiving.

Words that rhyme with vacation

ablation, aeration, agnation, Alsatian, Amerasian, Asian, aviation, cetacean, citation, conation, creation, Croatian, counterdemonstration, counterproliferation, crustacean, curation, Dalmatian, delation, dilation, donation, duration, elation, fixation, Galatian, geolocation, glocalization, gyration, Haitian, halation, Horatian, ideation, illation, lavation, legation, libation, location, lunation, mutation, natation, nation, negation, notation, nutation, oblation, oration, ovation, potation, relation, rogation, rotation, Sarmatian, sedation, Serbo-Croatian, station, staycation, taxation, Thracian, vexation, vocation, zonation

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: vac|ation

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