• Empty


    • IPA: /ˈɛmpti/
    • Hyphenation: emp + ty


    From Middle English emty, from Old English ǣmtiġ, ǣmettiġ ("vacant, empty, free, idle, unmarried", literally without must or obligation, leisurely), from Proto-Germanic *uz- ("out") + Proto-Germanic *mōtijô, *mōtô ("must, obligation, need"), *mōtiþô ("ability, accommodation"), from Proto-Indo-European *med- ("measure; to acquire, possess, be in command"). Related to Old English ġeǣmtiġian ("to empty"), Old English ǣmetta ("leisure"), Old English mōtan ("must, might, have to"). More at mote, meet.

    Full definition of empty



    1. Devoid of content; containing nothing or nobody; vacant.an empty purse; an empty jug; an empty stomach
      • 2011, October 23, Phil McNulty, Man Utd 1 - 6 Man City, United's stature is such that one result must not bring the immediate announcement of a shift in the balance of power in Manchester - but the swathes of empty seats around Old Trafford and the wave of attacks pouring towards David de Gea's goal in the second half emphasised that City quite simply have greater firepower and talent in their squad at present.
    2. (computing, programming) Containing no elements (as of a string or array), opposed to being null (having no valid value).
    3. (obsolete) Free; clear; devoid; often with of.
      • Miltonthat fair female troop ... empty of all good
      • ShakespeareI shall find you empty of that fault.
    4. Having nothing to carry; unburdened.
      • Shakespearean empty messenger
      • Bible, Exodus iii. 21When ye go ye shall not go empty.
    5. Destitute of effect, sincerity, or sense; said of language.empty words, or threats
      • CibberWords are but empty thanks.
    6. Unable to satisfy; hollow; vain.empty pleasures
      • Alexander Popepleas'd in the silent shade with empty praise
    7. Destitute of reality, or real existence; unsubstantial.empty dreams
    8. (obsolete) Producing nothing; unfruitful; said of a plant or tree.an empty vine
      • Bible, Genesis xli. 27seven empty ears blasted with the east wind
    9. Destitute of, or lacking, sense, knowledge, or courtesy.empty brains; an empty coxcomb
      • Shakespearethat in civility thou seem'st so empty



    Derived terms

    Terms derived from empty (adjective)


    1. (transitive, ergative) To make empty; to void; to remove the contents of.to empty a well or a cisternThe cinema emptied quickly after the end of the film.
      • Bible, Eccl. xi. 3The clouds ... empty themselves upon the earth.


    Derived terms



    (plural empties)
    1. A container, especially a bottle, whose contents have been used up, leaving it empty.Put the empties out to be recycled.
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