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[vey-keyt or, esp. British, vuh-keyt, vey-] /ˈveɪ keɪt or, esp. British, vəˈkeɪt, veɪ-/
verb (used with object), vacated, vacating.
to give up possession or occupancy of:
to vacate an apartment.
to give up or relinquish (an office, position, etc.):
to vacate the presidency of a firm.
to render inoperative; deprive of validity; void; annul:
to vacate a legal judgment.
to cause to be empty or unoccupied; make vacant:
to vacate one's mind of worries.
verb (used without object), vacated, vacating.
to withdraw from occupancy; surrender possession:
We will have to vacate when our lease expires.
to give up or leave a position, office, etc.
to leave; go away.
Origin of vacate
1635-45; < Latin vacātus past participle of vacāre to be empty; see -ate1
Related forms
vacatable, adjective
prevacate, verb (used with object), prevacated, prevacating.
revacate, verb (used with object), revacated, revacating.
unvacated, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for vacate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If the cabin really caught fire, and began to burn furiously, it would not be long before those within would have to vacate.

  • They then vacate the houses, and leave them to the ants, who soon stream in.

  • "Must vacate these premises the first of next February," he echoed, in a very dreary voice.

    Ishmael Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth
  • Father died in January of that year, and in March I had to vacate the house.

  • They can vacate any office, can create any office, and without limit fix any salary they choose.

    Elements of Debating Leverett S. Lyon
British Dictionary definitions for vacate


verb (mainly transitive)
to cause (something) to be empty, esp by departing from or abandoning it: to vacate a room
(also intransitive) to give up the tenure, possession, or occupancy of (a place, post, etc); leave or quit
  1. to cancel or rescind
  2. to make void or of no effect; annul
Derived Forms
vacatable, adjective
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 vacate

1640s, "to make void, to annul," from Latin vacatum, past participle of vacare "to be empty" (see vain). Meaning "to leave, give up, quit" (a place) is attested from 1791. Related: Vacated; vacating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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