V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: lacking significance, intelligence, or substance--empty

Synonyms: empty, foolish, inane, stupid, vacant, blank, void, drained

Antonyms: full, clever, intelligent

Tips: Vacuous is derived from the Latin vacuus, which means "empty, void." This is also the source of the word vacuum. It's common to hear someone's eyes described as vacuous, which means that there's nothing behind them and the person is staring blankly. Vacuous can be used as a critique of someone who is devoid of intelligence--has an "empty" mind. Vacuous is related to the word inane, which has a similar Latin origin that means empty. Vacuous is a good way of describing a person's "blank," "empty" look or expression, while inane is a good way of critiquing an idea that lacks substance--an empty idea that is not well thought out. See inane for additional analysis.

Usage Examples:

Travis' vacuous smile led me to believe that he wasn't really listening to me. (empty, vacant, blank)

Jen is really quite smart; she's not the stereotypical, vacuous blonde that many believe her to be. (stupid, empty)

Although it's supposed to be an intellectual book, it is completely vacuous, containing no real information at all. (inane, stupid)

When he looked up at me with vacuous eyes, I knew that he didn't understand anything I had said. (blank, vacant)

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