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adj. emp·ti·er, emp·ti·est
a. Having nothing inside or on the surface; holding or containing nothing: an empty bag; an empty lot.
b. Mathematics Having no elements or members; null: an empty set.
a. Having no occupants; not being used: an empty chair.
b. Not having an incumbent or occupant; unfilled: an empty post at the embassy.
c. Not put to purposeful use; idle: empty hours.
3. Lacking force or power: an empty threat.
4. Lacking purpose or substance; meaningless: an empty life.
5. Needing nourishment; hungry: "More fierce and more inexorable far / Than empty tigers or the roaring sea" (Shakespeare).
6. Devoid; destitute: empty of pity.
v. emp·tied, emp·ty·ing, emp·ties
1. To remove the contents of: emptied the dishwasher.
2. To transfer or pour off completely: empty the ashes into a pail.
3. To unburden; relieve: empty oneself of doubt.
1. To become empty: The theater emptied after the performance.
2. To discharge its contents: The river empties into a bay.
n. pl. emp·ties Informal
An empty container.

[Middle English, from Old English ǣmtig, vacant, unoccupied, from ǣmetta, leisure; see med- in Indo-European roots.]

emp′ti·ly adv.
emp′ti·ness n.
Synonyms: empty, vacant, blank, void, vacuous
These adjectives mean without contents that could or should be present. Empty is the broadest and can apply to what lacks contents (an empty box), occupants (an empty seat), or substance (an empty promise). Vacant has a similar range of application, including lacking an occupant (a vacant auditorium), an incumbent (a vacant position), or something useful or substantial (a vacant lot); it can also refer to what is without intelligence or expression (a vacant stare). Blank applies specifically to the absence of writing or images on a surface (a blank page; a blank screen) and can extend to a lack of awareness or understanding (a blank look). Void emphasizes the utter degree to which something is lacking, whether physical (a planet void of life) or intangible (a humdrum performance void of spirit or energy). Vacuous describes what is lacking in substance, interest, or intelligence (vacuous entertainment; a vacuous personality). See Also Synonyms at vain.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.




  1. (I was) as hollow and empty as the spaces between the stars —Raymond Chandler
  2. Barren as a fistful of rock —A. E. Maxwell
  3. Barren as an iceberg of vegetation —Anon
  4. Barren as crime —Algernon Charles Swinburne
  5. Barren as death —John Ruskin

    William Blake voiced the same thought, using ‘void’ instead of ‘barren.’

  6. Barren as routine —G. K. Chesterton
  7. Blank and bare and still as a polar wasteland —George Garrett
  8. Blank as a sheet —Reynolds Price
  9. Blank as a vandalized clock —Lorrie Moore
  10. Blank as death —Alfred, Lord Tennyson
  11. Blank as the eyeballs of the dead —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  12. Blank as the sun after the birth of night —Percy Bysshe Shelley
  13. Deserted as a park bench after a snowstorm —Anon
  14. Desolate as a summer resort in midwinter —Richard Harding Davis
  15. Emptied like a cup of coffee —John Ashbery
  16. The emptiness inside was like an explosion —Eleanor Clark
  17. Emptiness so vast it yawned like the pit of hell —George Garrett
  18. The emptiness was intense, like the stillness in a great factory when the machinery stops running —Willa Cather
  19. Empty-armed, empty-handed as a lone winter tree —George Garrett
  20. Empty as a barn before harvest —Erich Maria Remarque
  21. Empty as a broken bowl —George Garrett
  22. Empty as a canyon —Elizabeth Spencer
  23. Empty as a church on Monday morning —Anon
  24. Empty as a diary without entries —Anon
  25. Empty as a dry shell on the beach —Daphne du Maurier
  26. Empty as an air balloon —Thomas G. Fessendon
  27. Empty as an egg basket —Eudora Welty
  28. Empty as an office building at night —Anon
  29. (He was … ) empty as an old bottle —F. Scott Fitzgerald
  30. Empty as a person without a past, only present —Anon
  31. (Lonely afternoons, days, evenings) empty as a rusty coffee can —Diane Wakoski
  32. Empty as a waiting tomb —Louis Bromfield
  33. Empty as death’s head —Daniel Berrigan
  34. (Eyes) empty as knotholes in a fence —Etheridge Knight
  35. (The campus is as) empty as space —Babs H. Deal
  36. Empty as the beach after a snowstorm —Anon
  37. (The shuttle after morning rush hour is near) empty, like a littered beach after tourists have all gone home —Thomas Pynchon
  38. Faceless as a masked bandit —Anon
  39. Feel as dead and empty as a skeleton on a desert —Robert Traver
  40. Feel as empty as a popbottle in the street —Marge Piercy
  41. A feeling of emptiness, as if I had cut an artery in my wrist and all the blood had drained out —Aharon Megged
  42. Flat and empty as the palm of his hand —Helen Hudson

    In Hudson’s novel, Criminal Trespass, the comparison’s frame of reference is a flat and empty field.

  43. (The street below was) hollow as a bone —Peter Matthiessen
  44. Hollow as a politician’s head —Charles Johnson
  45. Hollow as skeleton eyes —Lorrie Moore
  46. A hollow feeling inside, big as a watermelon —Jay Parini
  47. I’m empty … like a sand bag —Tina Howe
  48. It’s like stepping into a church in midweek: Space abounding and no one to fill it —Helen Maclnnes
  49. Look as hollow as a ghost —William Shakespeare
  50. People, like houses, may be taken over by spirits and inhabited by ghosts when they feel they are deserted and empty —Gerald Kersh
  51. So empty you could fire a canon and not hit anybody —Anon
  52. Sterile as a mule —James Morrow
  53. Sterile as a stone —Cynthia Ozick
  54. Void as death —William Blake
  55. The weight of his emptiness dragged like a dead dog chained around his neck —Bernard Malamud
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.emptiness - the state of containing nothing
condition, status - a state at a particular time; "a condition (or state) of disrepair"; "the current status of the arms negotiations"
blankness - the state of being blank; void; emptiness
hollowness - the state of being hollow: having an empty space within
vacancy - being unoccupied
vacuity, vacuum - the absence of matter
fullness - the condition of being filled to capacity
2.emptiness - having an empty stomach
hunger, hungriness - a physiological need for food; the consequence of food deprivation
3.emptiness - an empty area or spaceemptiness - an empty area or space; "the huge desert voids"; "the emptiness of outer space"; "without their support he'll be ruling in a vacuum"
space - an empty area (usually bounded in some way between things); "the architect left space in front of the building"; "they stopped at an open space in the jungle"; "the space between his teeth"
4.emptiness - the quality of being valueless or futileemptiness - the quality of being valueless or futile; "he rejected the vanities of the world"
worthlessness, ineptitude - having no qualities that would render it valuable or useful; "the drill sergeant's intent was to convince all the recruits of their worthlessness"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


3. void, gap, vacuum, empty space, nothingness, blank space, free space, vacuity She wanted a man to fill the emptiness in her life.
4. bareness, waste, desolation, destitution, blankness, barrenness, desertedness, vacantness the emptiness of the desert
5. blankness, vacancy, vacuity, impassivity, vacuousness, expressionlessness, stoniness, unintelligence, absentness, vacantness There was an emptiness about her eyes, as if she were in a state of shock.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


1. Total absence of matter:
2. Empty, unfilled space:
3. Total lack of ideas, meaning, or substance:
4. A desolate sense of loss:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
فَراغ، خُلُو
tómleiki; tóm; innihaldsleysi


[ˈemptɪnɪs] N
1. (= bareness, barrenness) → desolación f, vacío m
the emptiness of the desertla desolación or el vacío del desierto
2. (= void) → vacío m
the emptiness he felt insideel vacío que sentía en su interior
the emptiness of his lifeel vacío or (frm) la vacuidad de su vida
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈɛmptinəs] n
(= empty space) → vide m
(emotional, spiritual) [person] → vide m; [life] → vide m
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


nLeere f, → Leerheit f; (of life etc)Leere f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈɛmptɪnɪs] nvuoto
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ˈempti) adjective
1. having nothing inside. an empty box; an empty cup.
2. unoccupied. an empty house.
3. (with of) completely without. a street quite empty of people.
4. having no practical result; (likely to be) unfulfilled. empty threats.
1. to make or become empty. He emptied the jug; The cinema emptied quickly at 10.30; He emptied out his pockets.
2. to tip, pour, or fall out of a container. She emptied the milk into a pan; The rubbish emptied on to the ground.
an empty bottle etc. Take the empties back to the shop.
ˈemptiness noun
ˌempty-ˈhanded adjective
carrying nothing. I went to collect my wages but returned empty-handed.
ˌempty-ˈheaded adjective
brainless. an empty-headed young girl.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
From the alighting board, instead of the former spirituous fragrant smell of honey and venom, and the warm whiffs of crowded life, comes an odor of emptiness and decay mingling with the smell of honey.
Th' undying voice of that dead time, With its interminable chime, Rings, in the spirit of a spell, Upon thy emptiness - a knell.
Celia, whose mind had never been thought too powerful, saw the emptiness of other people's pretensions much more readily.
Oh, the black years of emptiness stretching before her!
The circular sheet of water reflected a luminous sky, and the shores enclosing it made an opaque ring of earth floating in an emptiness of transparent blue.
A great need of something to lean on, and a great weariness of independence and responsibility took possession of my soul; and looking round for support and comfort in that transitory mood, the emptiness of the present and the blankness of the future sent me back to the past with all its ghosts.
Nor do I -- whom the scarlet letter has disciplined to truth, though it be the truth of red-hot iron entering into the soul -- nor do I perceive such advantage in his living any longer a life of ghastly emptiness, that I shall stoop to implore thy mercy.
The terrace and the whole place, the lawn and the garden beyond it, all I could see of the park, were empty with a great emptiness. There were shrubberies and big trees, but I remember the clear assurance I felt that none of them concealed him.
I do not see any wisdom in building a monster cask to hoard up emptiness in, when you can get a better quality, outside, any day, free of expense.
Her character will be fixed, and she will, at sixteen, be the most determined flirt that ever made herself or her family ridiculous; a flirt, too, in the worst and meanest degree of flirtation; without any attraction beyond youth and a tolerable person; and, from the ignorance and emptiness of her mind, wholly unable to ward off any portion of that universal contempt which her rage for admiration will excite.
He dwelt likewise upon the emptiness of his pockets, turned over the papers in his pocket-book, and convinced himself of the state of absolute destitution in which he was about to be plunged.
Her phrases, so bald and few, constantly repeated, showed the emptiness of her mind; he recalled her vulgar little laugh at the jokes of the musical comedy; and he remembered the little finger carefully extended when she held her glass to her mouth; her manners like her conversation, were odiously genteel.