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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
vacuum cleaner
vacuum flask
vacuum tube
▪ Nevertheless the discretion is not to be exercised in a moral vacuum.
▪ In sum, many of these kids are growing up in a moral and ethical vacuum.
▪ In a moral and institutional vacuum, any strategy constitutes a shock therapy.
▪ There is no satisfying solution to the moral vacuum that is created when one human being murders another.
▪ In both cases the result of improvement is a dehumanized landscape and something like a moral vacuum.
▪ Young people from welfare-dependent single-parent families just aren't artful dodgers ready to graduate into serious crime and a moral vacuum.
▪ The result is a permanent war establishment run by a privately incorporated economy operating within a political vacuum.
▪ In the post-Nehru political vacuum, this was simply a recipe for instability.
▪ Isolation creates a social vacuum, an absence of intimacy which removes both comfort and knowledge.
▪ Marita was being asked to write in a cognitive and social vacuum.
▪ It is a phenomenon which occurs in a social and economic vacuum.
▪ However, such an assumption is simply not tenable, for science and technology do not develop in a social vacuum.
▪ Old people do not live in a social vacuum, pursuing their personal goals in ways which do not impinge on others.
▪ He soon realises that he has lost all his friends, and is surrounded by a social vacuum.
▪ One was its glass house-the vacuum chamber that shielded the chronometer from troubling changes of atmospheric pressure and humidity.
▪ On the contrary - it uses up the time we've saved with the dishwasher and the vacuum cleaner.
▪ No refrigerator, no radio, no telephone, no automatic laundry, no vacuum cleaner.
▪ The Mini Vac is an attachment which can be used in conjunction with your household vacuum cleaner.
▪ So, he also sold vacuum cleaners door to door.
▪ How often do you use your vacuum cleaner, and what do you wear to do the cleaning?
▪ But government orders have dried up and the factory is struggling now by making vacuum cleaners and coffee makers.
▪ She switched on the vacuum cleaner.
▪ A portable vacuum cleaner is most helpful for sand up the wazoo. 2.
▪ Fairfax's steward has packed sandwiches for us and an ancient vacuum flask of tea.
▪ What if we place Professor Summerlee upon the table, within the vacuum flask, in place of the cat?
▪ What is it about vacuum flasks that makes every drink taste like there's a chunk of dead mouse at the bottom?
▪ Keep the mixture in a vacuum flask for 6-8 hours.
▪ Indeed, one of the key features of the Nottinghamshire initiative was that it occurred in somewhat of a policy vacuum.
▪ To force the pace now was irresponsible, and could lead to a power vacuum.
▪ In the power vacuum following the trials, Berlusconi became Prime Minister.
▪ A power vacuum would probably destroy his hopes for a smooth transition of authority.
▪ Pavlov had warned on Aug. 13 of a potential power vacuum, unless the centre retained sufficient economic leverage.
▪ Mr Yeltsin insists simultaneous balloting could create a dangerous power vacuum.
▪ The ideal atmosphere for the vacuum tube is no atmosphere at all, or a perfect vacuum.
▪ Powered by vacuum tubes, those old radar units are now dinosaurs.
▪ The breath samples, stored in special vacuum tubes, are sent to Meretek for lab analysis.
▪ Just another snooty $ 3, 000 vacuum tube amplifier, I thought.
▪ Here he makes such suggestions as imitating simple neuron functions by using telegraph relays or vacuum tubes.
▪ The exclusion of air to create a vacuum.
▪ Isolation creates a social vacuum, an absence of intimacy which removes both comfort and knowledge.
▪ But from a moral point of view its decision has created a vacuum that needs to be filled.
▪ The delay has also created a vacuum, which politics abhors.
▪ But globalisation has created a vacuum of responsibility.
▪ Buyers brought forward purchases in August to beat the deadline on stamp duty, creating a vacuum in the following month.
▪ There was widespread acknowledgement that the absence of the Unionist parties had created a partial vacuum.
▪ Forms of knowledge, even the most pure and theoretical, do not exist in a vacuum.
▪ The judiciary does not and can not exist in a vacuum, immune to civic concerns and shifting realities.
▪ Most agreed there existed a certain vacuum.
▪ Organizations do not exist in a vacuum.
▪ Equally, concepts, the stuff of rules, can not exist in a vacuum as mere semantic toys.
▪ The social worker's client does not, after all, exist in a vacuum.
▪ The interpretation is a valuable reminder that the crisis of 1483 did not exist in a vacuum.
▪ Ideas do not exist in a vacuum, free-floating in outer space, waiting to be corralled.
▪ Luis Rodriguez Zapatero will fill the vacuum created when Felipe Gonza lez was defeated as prime minister in 1996.
▪ Al Capone and bootleggers filled the vacuum: bathtub spirits, peepholes in the door, Joe-sent-me.
▪ No new politician has come to the fore, so others vie to fill the vacuum.
▪ Unfortunately, good many of us in the United States have filled the hate vacuum by hating each other.
▪ And Right-to-Life ideology has filled the vacuum.
▪ The man and the congregation caught change on the wing, adapted and filled a vacuum created by forces not everyone understood.
▪ Other cars screamed in to fill the sudden vacuum of our wake.
▪ This leaves a vacuum at the centre of the nation: in a London where there are no native Londoners.
▪ Destroying one pest leaves a vacuum that will be filled by something else.
▪ He had taken with him more badness than goodness, leaving not a vacuum, but a breathing space.
▪ The apparatus was operated remotely in a vacuum and in a temperature-controlled chamber.
▪ The millwrights and other inventors who were making these technical developments were not operating in a vacuum.
▪ He shook religion out of her mind, as it were, and into the vacuum rushed something rather disagreeable.
▪ His adolescence and young manhood had occurred in a vacuum.
▪ This made a partial vacuum, which kept the cardboard attached to the mouth of the glass.
▪ Have you vacuumed the carpets?
▪ He vacuums a third time, for a few seconds longer.
▪ His chair having to be replaced after vacuuming in exactly the same position as before.
▪ I loved getting the housework done during the week and then playing on the weekend, all the vacuuming done.
▪ I stay in, play Bach on the earphones and vacuum the broadloom.
▪ Meanwhile, his receptionist can not vacuum fat, nor can she type as fast.
▪ The inside has been vacuumed recently, too.
▪ They sent him along to vacuum the carpets, but he wound up with his very own theatre to practice in.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Vacuum cleaner \Vac"u*um clean"er\ A machine for cleaning carpets, tapestry, upholstered work, etc., by suction; -- sometimes called a vacuum.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"to clean with a vacuum cleaner," 1919, from vacuum (n.). Related: Vacuumed; vacuuming.


1540s, "emptiness of space," from Latin vacuum "an empty space, vacant place, a void," noun use of neuter of vacuus "empty, unoccupied, devoid of," figuratively "free, unoccupied," related to vacare "be empty" (see vain). Properly a loan-translation of Greek kenon, literally "that which is empty." Meaning "a space emptied of air" is attested from 1650s. Vacuum tube "glass thermionic device" is attested from 1859. Vacuum cleaner is from 1903; shortened form vacuum (n.) first recorded 1910.\n\nThe metaphysicians of Elea, Parmenides and Melissus, started the notion that a vacuum was impossible, and this became a favorite doctrine with Aristotle. All the scholastics upheld the maxim that "nature abhors a vacuum."

[Century Dictionary]


n. 1 A region of space that contains no matter. 2 A vacuum cleaner. 3 The condition of rarefaction, or reduction of pressure below that of the atmosphere, in a vessel, such as the condenser of a steam engine, which is nearly exhausted of air or steam, etc. vb. 1 (context transitive English) To clean (something) with a vacuum cleaner. 2 (context intransitive English) To use a vacuum cleaner.


n. (context rare chiefly Netherlands English) (alternative spelling of vacuum English)

  1. n. the absence of matter [syn: vacuity]

  2. an empty area or space; "the huge desert voids"; "the emptiness of outer space"; "without their support he'll be ruling in a vacuum" [syn: void, vacancy, emptiness]

  3. a region empty of matter [syn: vacuity]

  4. an electrical home appliance that cleans by suction [syn: vacuum cleaner]

  5. [also: vacua (pl)]

  1. v. clean with a vacuum cleaner; "vacuum the carpets" [syn: vacuum-clean, hoover]

  2. [also: vacua (pl)]


Vacuum is space void of matter. The word stems from the Latin adjective vacuus for "vacant" or "void". An approximation to such vacuum is a region with a gaseous pressure much less than atmospheric pressure. Physicists often discuss ideal test results that would occur in a perfect vacuum, which they sometimes simply call "vacuum" or free space, and use the term partial vacuum to refer to an actual imperfect vacuum as one might have in a laboratory or in space. In engineering and applied physics on the other hand, vacuum refers to any space in which the pressure is lower than atmospheric pressure. The Latin term in vacuo is used to describe an object that is surrounded by a vacuum.

The quality of a partial vacuum refers to how closely it approaches a perfect vacuum. Other things equal, lower gas pressure means higher-quality vacuum. For example, a typical vacuum cleaner produces enough suction to reduce air pressure by around 20%. Much higher-quality vacuums are possible. Ultra-high vacuum chambers, common in chemistry, physics, and engineering, operate below one trillionth (10) of atmospheric pressure (100 nPa), and can reach around 100 particles/cm. Outer space is an even higher-quality vacuum, with the equivalent of just a few hydrogen atoms per cubic meter on average. According to modern understanding, even if all matter could be removed from a volume, it would still not be "empty" due to vacuum fluctuations, dark energy, transiting gamma rays, cosmic rays, neutrinos, and other phenomena in quantum physics. In the electromagnetism in the 19th century, vacuum was thought to be filled with a medium called aether. In modern particle physics, the vacuum state is considered the ground state of matter.

Vacuum has been a frequent topic of philosophical debate since ancient Greek times, but was not studied empirically until the 17th century. Evangelista Torricelli produced the first laboratory vacuum in 1643, and other experimental techniques were developed as a result of his theories of atmospheric pressure. A torricellian vacuum is created by filling a tall glass container closed at one end with mercury, and then inverting the container into a bowl to contain the mercury.

Vacuum became a valuable industrial tool in the 20th century with the introduction of incandescent light bulbs and vacuum tubes, and a wide array of vacuum technology has since become available. The recent development of human spaceflight has raised interest in the impact of vacuum on human health, and on life forms in general.

Vacuum (band)

Vacuum is the name of a Swedish pop band. The members are Mattias Lindblom and Anders Wollbeck. They also work as song writers and producers under the same name. As songwriters and producers Wollbeck and Lindblom have worked with artists such as Tarja Turunen, Tina Arena, Garou, Monrose, TVXQ, Keisha Buchanan, f(x) and The Canadian Tenors. Wollbeck and Lindblom are signed to Universal Music Publishing world wide.

Vacuum (disambiguation)

Vacuum is the absence of matter.

Vacuum may also refer to:

  • Vacuum cleaner, a home appliance which uses suction to remove dirt
  • Vacuum flask, an insulated storage vessel
  • Vacuum (outer space), the very high, but imperfect, vacuum of the solar system and interstellar space
  • Vacuum state, the quantum state with the lowest possible energy
  • Vacuum Oil Company, an 1866 US petroleum company, now part of ExxonMobil
  • Vacuum (band), a musical group from Sweden
  • The Vacuum, a free monthly newspaper published in Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Vacuum, 2006 play by Deborah McAndrew

Usage examples of "vacuum".

Those that remained were vacuum ablating, their edges fraying like worn cloth, while their flat surfaces slowly dissolved, reducing their overall thickness.

A vacuum attached to the tank lowers the internal pressure, turning the acetone to a gas and drawing it from the body.

Some of the characters in my tale are present in the Void Which Bind largely as scars, holes, vacancies -- the Nemes creatures are such vacuums, as are Councillor Albedo and the other Core entities -- but I was able to track some of the movements and actions of these beings simply by the movement of that vacancy through the matrix of sentient emotion that was the Void, much as one would see the outline of an invisible man in a hard rain.

Queen Victoria had ever called an urgent meeting of her counsellors, and ordered them to invent the equivalent of radio and television, it is unlikely that any of them would have imagined the path to lead through the experiments of Ampere, Biot, Oersted and Faraday, four equations of vector calculus, and the judgement to preserve the displacement current in a vacuum.

We have seen that the uncertainty principle ensures that even the vacuum of empty space is a teeming, roiling frenzy of virtual particles momentarily erupting into existence and subsequently annihilating one another.

Esmay gave the orders that sent Jig Arek and her team across a few hundred meters of vacuum to the other ship.

The observations of electricity in a vacuum, therefore, yield no confirmation whatsoever of the atomistic view of matter.

But Jordan and other engineers at Stanford believed that the device might have a few practical applications and before long it became clear how stunningly correct they were - the audion was the first electronic vacuum tube, and its descendants ultimately made possible radio, television, radar, medical monitors, navigation systems and computers themselves.

Somehow this brought home to her for the first time the sheer force of the Multiplier migration, its quality of being a cascading explosion of thistledown birling through and filling and abhorring the vacuum.

Thermometers, atmospheric drift gauges, barometers, and bolometers were projected through vacuum suction tubes.

Unfortunately, a chimera bombinating in a vacuum is, nowadays, only too capable of producing secondary causes.

A Higgs boson is a theoretical particle that is named for the Scottish physicist Peter Higgs, who suggested it as a way to explain some phenomena in high energy and vacuum field physics.

Between the vessels was a breakaway point at which a closed pressure door shielded the fragile human body from the deadly vacuum of space when the ships parted.

Six hours later, before the internal fields switch on and the bodies begin to be repaired in their complex sarcophagi, even while the cabin is still in virtual vacuum, Nemes stands, shoulders two hundred gravities with no expression, and walks to the conference cubby and the plotting table.

Their little domestic robot had vacuumed the carpet, dusted round and polished the broad window that looked out over the back garden.