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empty word

noun
1.
(especially in Chinese grammar) a word or morpheme that has no lexical meaning and that functions as a grammatical link or marker, rather than as a contentive.
Origin
1890-1895
1890-95
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for empty word
  • The longed-for freedom had become an empty word indeed.

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