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

n an empty area or space

“without their support he'll be ruling in a vacuum
emptiness, vacancy, void
Type of:
an empty area (usually bounded in some way between things)

n the absence of matter

Type of:
the state of containing nothing

n a region that is devoid of matter

Type of:
part, region
the extended spatial location of something

n an electrical home appliance that cleans by suction

vacuum cleaner
a kind of vacuum cleaner
Type of:
home appliance, household appliance
an appliance that does a particular job in the home

v clean with a vacuum cleaner

vacuum the carpets”
hoover, vacuum-clean
Type of:
clean, make clean
make clean by removing dirt, filth, or unwanted substances from

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