vacuity

When you refer to something that is not there, you can refer to its vacuity. A stern teacher who is criticizing an empty-headed English essay might talk about its vacuity, or the absence of any real substance.

This abstract noun is derived from the adjective vacuous, which means "like or of a vacuum." Vacuity is rarely used to refer to actual vacuums; it is instead used to disparage arguments, morals, and undertakings that lack proper substance. These transferred meanings are more common for the adjective as well. Use them both sparingly: they are nearly always a marker that you have your judgment hat on!

Definitions of vacuity
  1. noun
    the absence of matter
    synonyms: vacuum
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    type of:
    emptiness
    the state of containing nothing
  2. noun
    a region that is devoid of matter
    synonyms: vacuum
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    type of:
    part, region
    the extended spatial location of something
  3. noun
    total lack of meaning or ideas
    synonyms: inanity, mindlessness, pointlessness, senselessness
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    type of:
    meaninglessness
    the quality of having no value or significance
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