A vacuum is essentially a great lack of something — a place where virtually all matter, even air, has been removed. It can describe something that's literally empty — or something that just seems that way, like a political vacuum.

You probably have a vacuum at home. A humble household appliance named after a principle of physics, the vacuum is a device for sucking up dirt off the ground. It works by creating a vacuum — that is, it sucks all the air out of a particular place so that the surrounding atmospheric pressure will flood in, taking with it all the nacho chips, dog hair, toast crumbs, and whatever else you have lying around your house.

Definitions of vacuum
  1. noun
    an empty area or space
    “without their support he'll be ruling in a vacuum
    synonyms: emptiness, vacancy, void
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    type of:
    an empty area (usually bounded in some way between things)
  2. noun
    the absence of matter
    synonyms: vacuity
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    type of:
    the state of containing nothing
  3. noun
    a region that is devoid of matter
    synonyms: vacuity
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    type of:
    part, region
    the extended spatial location of something
  4. noun
    an electrical home appliance that cleans by suction
    synonyms: vacuum cleaner
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    a kind of vacuum cleaner
    type of:
    home appliance, household appliance
    an appliance that does a particular job in the home
  5. verb
    clean with a vacuum cleaner
    vacuum the carpets”
    synonyms: hoover, vacuum-clean
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    type of:
    clean, make clean
    make clean by removing dirt, filth, or unwanted substances from
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