I. vac ‧ u ‧ um 1 /ˈvækjuəm, -kjʊm/ BrE AmE noun
[ Date: 1500-1600 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: vacuus ; ⇨ ↑ vacuous ]
1 . [countable] a space that is completely empty of all gas, especially one from which all the air has been taken away
2 . [countable] a vacuum cleaner
3 . [singular] a situation in which someone or something is missing or lacking
create/leave a vacuum (in something)
Her husband’s death left a vacuum in her life.
power/political/moral etc vacuum
the political vacuum caused by the ban on Communist Party activity
4 . in a vacuum existing completely separately from other people or things and having no connection with them:
The process of learning a language does not take place in a vacuum.
• • •
COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 3)
▪ create a vacuum
His sudden departure created a vacuum at the head of the company.
▪ leave a vacuum
The disappearance of religious beliefs has left a vacuum in many people's lives.
▪ fill a vacuum
What political ideas have filled the vacuum left by the fall of communism?
■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + vacuum
▪ a power vacuum
The leader's sudden death created a power vacuum.
▪ a political vacuum
Military leaders stepped in to fill the political vacuum.
▪ a moral vacuum (=a lack of moral standards)
Many children are growing up in a moral vacuum.
▪ a policy vacuum
There is a policy vacuum on climate change.
II. vacuum 2 BrE AmE verb [intransitive and transitive]
to clean using a vacuum cleaner