Vacuity

Credit: j0n9292, Flickr

Credit: j0n9292, Flickr

Vacuity is a noun primarily used to signify an empty space, or a lack or absence of something. However, there are several different contexts it can be used in, making it possible for both an empty factory AND the Prime Minister of Australia to suffer from a state of vacuity. How? Let’s find out!

The first meaning of the word we’ll explore is that of vacuity signifying an emptiness or an empty space. For instance, it could be said that the vacuity of a building elicits a profound sadness. However, for this building to be in a state of vacuity, it must be empty, abandoned or dilapidated.  A second example where vacuity could be used in this way is when describing the ocean. Referring to the vacuity of the ocean is another way of drawing attention to the empty expanse and open space of the ocean.

A second meaning of the word vacuity  is where it defines a state of being empty-headed, or lacking in intelligence, substance and matter. This is where my earlier remark of the Prime Minister of Australia suffering from a state of vacuity becomes relevant. It could even be said that the fact of his vacuity is a widely held opinion.

In its adjective form, vacuous can be used to describe both someone with a lack of intelligence as well as a place that is empty or lacking in substance or matter. If you know someone who makes silly comments all the time, you could perhaps say that they are vacuous. An empty room could also be described as being vacuous.

Fortunately, there is a trick to remembering vacuity and its meanings, and it’s quite easy to learn. Just look at the word for a moment, and try to think of what other words pop into your mind that have a similar beginning. Done? Did you think of  words such as vacant and vacuum? These more frequently well-known words can also both be used to signify empty spaces, so to make the definition of vacuity adhere, just link together the meanings of those words and their first three letters.

Pronunciation:
Vack-u-it-ee

Example of  ‘vacuity’ used in a sentence:
Just the other day, she’d remarked on the vacuity of the room, emptied of all furnishings and belongings.

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