Dictionary: V – VAC'U-OUS

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is the twenty-second letter of the English Alphabet, and a labial articulation, formed by the junction of the upper teeth with the lower lip, as in pronouncing av, ev, ov, vain. It is not a close articulation, but one that admits of some sound. It is nearly allied to f, being formed by the same organs; but v is vocal, and f is aspirate, and this constitutes the principal difference between them. V and u were formerly the same letter, derived no doubt from the Oriental vau or waw, but they have now as distinct uses as any two letters in the alphabet, and are therefore to be considered as different letters. V has one sound only, as in very, vote, lavish. As a numeral, V stands for 5. With a dash over it, in old books, V̅, it stands for 5000. V.R. among the Romans, stood for uti rogas, as you desire; V.C. for vir consularis; V.G. for verbi gratia; V.L. for videlicet. In music for instruments, V. stands for violin; V.V. for violins.

VA'CAN-CY, n. [L. vacans, from vaco, to be empty; Fr. vacance; It. vacanza; Sp. vacancia; W. gwag; Heb. בק; to empty. Class Bg, No. 28.]

  1. Empty space; vacuity. [In this sense, vacuity is now generally used.] – Shak.
  2. Chasm; void space between bodies or objects; as, a vacancy between two beams or boards in a building; a vacancy between two buildings; a vacancy between words in a writing. – Watts.
  3. The state of being destitute of an incumbent; want of the regular officer to officiate in a place. Hence also it signifies the office, post or benefice which is destitute of an incumbent; as, a vacancy in a parish; vacancies in the treasury or war office. There is no vacancy on the bench of the supreme court.
  4. Time of leisure; freedom from employment; intermission of business. Those little vacancies from toils are sweet. – Dryden.
  5. Listlessness; emptiness of thought. – Wotton.
  6. A place or office not occupied, or destitute of a person to fill it; as, a vacancy in a school.

VA'CANT, a. [Fr.; from L. vacans.]

  1. Empty; not filled; void of every substance except air; as, a vacant space between houses; vacant room. – Milton.
  2. Empty; exhausted of air; as, a vacant receiver. – Boyle.
  3. Free; unincumbered; unengaged with business or care. Philosophy is the interest of those only who are vacant from the affairs of the world. – More.
  4. Not filled or occupied with an incumbent or possessor as, a vacant throne; a vacant parish.
  5. Being unoccupied with business; as, vacant hours; vacant moments. – Addison.
  6. Empty of thought; thoughtless; not occupied with study or reflection; as, a vacant mind.
  7. Indicating want of thought. The duke had a pleasant and vacant face. – Wotton.
  8. In law, abandoned; having no heir; as, vacant effects or goods.

VA-CANT'LY, adv.

In a vacant manner.

VA'CATE, v.t.

  1. To annul; to make void; to make of no authority or validity; as, to vacate a commission; to vacate a charter. The necessity of observing the Jewish sabbath was vacated by the apostolical institution of the Lord's day. – Nelson.
  2. To make vacant; to quit possession and leave destitute. It was resolved by parliament that James had vacated the throne of England.
  3. To defeat; to put an end to. He vacates my revenge. [Unusual.] – Dryden.

VA'CA-TED, pp.

Annulled; made void; made vacant.

VA'CA-TING, ppr.

Making void; making vacant.

VA-CA'TION, n. [Fr. from L. vacatio.]

  1. The act of making void, vacant, or of no validity; as, the vacation of a charter.
  2. Intermission of judicial proceedings; the space of time between the end of one term and the beginning of the next; non-term.
  3. The intermission of the regular studies and exercises of a college or other seminary, when the students have a recess.
  4. Intermission of a stated employment.
  5. The time when a see or other spiritual dignity is vacant. During the vacation of a bishopric, the dean and chapter are guardians of the spiritualities. – Cyc.
  6. Leisure; freedom from trouble or perplexity. [Now little used.] – Hammond.

VAC'CA-RY, n. [L. vacca, a cow.]

An old word signifying a cow house, dairy house, or a cow pasture. – Bailey. Cyc.

VAC'CIN-ATE, v.t. [L. vacca, a cow.]

To inoculate with the cow-pox, or a virus taken from cows, called vaccine matter. Cow-pox is small-pox, modified by affecting a cow.


Inoculated with the cow-pox.


Inoculating with the cow-pox.


The act, art or practice of inoculating persons with the cow-pox.

VAC'CINE, a. [L. vaccinus, from vacca, a cow.]

Pertaining to cows; derived from cows; as, the vaccine disease or cow-pox.

VACH'ER-Y, n. [Fr. vache, a cow.]

A pen or inclosure for cows. – Flint.

VAC'IL-LAN-CY, n. [L. vacillans, from vacillo, to waver, Eng. to waggle, from the root of wag, – which see.]

A state of wavering; fluctuation; inconstancy. – More.

VAC'IL-LANT, a. [supra.]

Wavering; fluctuating; unsteady. – Smellie.

VAC'IL-LATE, v.i. [L. vacillo; G. wackeln; Eng. to waggle, a diminutive of wag. See Wag.]

  1. To waver; to move one way and the other; to reel or stagger.
  2. To fluctuate in mind or opinion; to waver; to be unsteady or inconstant.


  1. Wavering; reeling; fluctuating.
  2. adj. Unsteady; inclined to fluctuate.



VAC-IL-LA'TION, n. [Fr. from L. vacillatio.]

  1. A wavering; a moving one way and the other; a reeling or staggering.
  2. Fluctuation of mind; unsteadiness; change from one object to another. – S. Lee.

VAC-U-A'TION, n. [L. vacuo.]

The act of emptying. [Little used.] [See Evacuation.]

VAC'U-IST, n. [from vacuum.]

One who holds to the doctrine of a vacuum in nature; opposed to a plenist. – Boyle.

VA-CU'I-TY, n. [L. vacuitas, from vacuus.]

  1. Emptiness; a state of being unfilled. Hunger is such a state of vacuity as to require a fresh supply. – Arbuthnot.
  2. Space unfilled or unoccupied, or occupied with an invisible fluid only. A vacuity is interspersed among the particles of matter . – Bentley.
  3. Emptiness; void. God only can fill every vacuity of the soul. – Rogers.
  4. Inanity; emptiness; want of reality. – Granville.
  5. Vacuum – which see.


Empty; unfilled; void. – Milton.