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[ih-vak-yoo-eyt] /ɪˈvæk yuˌeɪt/
verb (used with object), evacuated, evacuating.
to leave empty; vacate.
Synonyms: empty, void, drain.
to remove (persons or things) from a place, as a dangerous place or disaster area, for reasons of safety or protection:
to evacuate the inhabitants of towns in the path of a flood.
to remove persons from (a city, town, building, area, etc.) for reasons of safety:
to evacuate the embassy after a bomb threat.
  1. to remove (troops, wounded soldiers, civilians, etc.) from a war zone, combat area, etc.
  2. to withdraw from or quit (a town, fort, etc., that has been occupied).
Physiology. to discharge or eject as through the excretory passages, especially from the bowels.
to deprive:
Fear evacuated their minds of reason.
to produce a vacuum in.
verb (used without object), evacuated, evacuating.
to leave a place because of military or other threats.
to void; defecate.
Origin of evacuate
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin ēvacuātus (past participle of ēvacuāre to empty out, equivalent to ē- e-1 + vacuāre to empty); see vacuum, -ate1
Related forms
reevacuate, verb, reevacuated, reevacuating.
unevacuated, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for evacuate
  • Power outages swept the area, and thousands of residents were forced to evacuate.
  • Even if you have an effective detection system, though, it is useless if you cannot evacuate a threatened area.
  • Thousands of residents were forced to evacuate the area when the disaster left their homes uninhabitable.
  • Many were left behind in the rush to evacuate by families who did not expect to be away for more than a short period.
  • Officials warned residents in some parts of the city to evacuate.
  • UN helicopters were sent to evacuate terrified aid workers under heavy fire.
  • Pack a bag with important items in case you need to evacuate.
  • Even if you evacuate early, you may run into some smoke.
  • The logic is that people would be able to evacuate before they need more pills.
  • State officials said it was their responsibility to evacuate patients if necessary.
British Dictionary definitions for evacuate


verb (mainly transitive)
(also intransitive) to withdraw or cause to withdraw from (a place of danger) to a place of greater safety
to make empty by removing the contents of
(also intransitive) (physiol)
  1. to eliminate or excrete (faeces); defecate
  2. to discharge (any waste product) from (a part of the body)
(transitive) to create a vacuum in (a bulb, flask, reaction vessel, etc)
Derived Forms
evacuation, noun
evacuative, adjective
evacuator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin ēvacuāre to void, from vacuus empty
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for evacuate

1520s, from Latin evacuatus, past participle of evacuare "to empty, make void, nullify," used by Pliny in reference to the bowels, used figuratively in Late Latin for "clear out," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + vacuus "empty" (see vacuum).

Earliest sense in English is medical. Meaning "remove inhabitants to safer ground" is from 1934. Replaced Middle English evacuen (c.1400). Related: Evacuated; evacuating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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evacuate in Medicine

evacuate e·vac·u·ate (ĭ-vāk'yōō-āt')
v. e·vac·u·at·ed, e·vac·u·at·ing, e·vac·u·ates

  1. To empty or remove the contents of.

  2. To excrete or discharge waste matter, especially of the bowels.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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