When I contemplate God among the dead I find only emptiness and silence.
Netherland, published in 2008, attempted to capture a feeling of emptiness in the West after the catastrophic events of 9/11.
Of a Sunday, Wall-street is deserted as Petra; and every night of every day it is an emptiness.
Forget the shamelessness, the emptiness, the glaring disingenuousness.
He then spread his arms dramatically, drawing a semicircle of emptiness.
She made her mind a blank so often that she flew to thinking to escape the emptiness of it.
And fiercely in a bewildered way I rebelled against this emptiness.
A pocket full of greenbacks would make me feel better than a pocket full of emptiness with a big appetite.
The battle field was described by the Germans as "an emptiness."
They thought of the emptiness of their courage, and they stood with their eyes fixed and grinding their teeth.
c.1200, from Old English æmettig "at leisure, not occupied, unmarried," from æmetta "leisure," from æ "not" + -metta, from motan "to have" (see might (n.)). The -p- is a euphonic insertion.
Sense evolution from "at leisure" to "empty" is paralleled in several languages, e.g. Modern Greek adeios "empty," originally "freedom from fear," from deios "fear." "The adj. adeios must have been applied first to persons who enjoyed freedom from duties, leisure, and so were unoccupied, whence it was extended to objects that were unoccupied" [Buck].
The adjective also yielded a verb (1520s), replacing Middle English empten, from Old English geæmtigian. Related: Emptied; emptying. Figurative sense of empty-nester first attested 1987. Empty-handed attested from 1610s.