Definition of empty adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈempti//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈempti//
    (emptier, emptiest) Unhappiness
    jump to other results
  1. 1  with no people or things inside an empty box/glass empty hands (= not holding anything) an empty plate (= with no food on it) The theatre was half empty. an empty house/room/bus As it got later, the streets became empty. Is this an empty chair (= a chair that nobody else is using)? The house had been standing empty (= without people living in it) for some time. It's not good to drink alcohol on an empty stomach (= without having eaten something). empty of something (formal) The room was empty of furniture.
  2. 2  [usually before noun] (of something that somebody says or does) with no meaning; not meaning what is said synonym hollow empty words an empty promise an empty gesture aimed at pleasing the crowds
  3. 3  (of a person, or a person’s life) unhappy because life does not seem to have a purpose, usually after something sad has happened Three months after his death, she still felt empty. My life seems empty without you. See related entries: Unhappiness
  4. 4empty of something without a quality that you would expect to be there words that were empty of meaning
  5. Word OriginOld English ǣmtig, ǣmetig ‘at leisure, empty’, from ǣmetta ‘leisure’, perhaps from ā ‘no, not’ + mōt ‘meeting’ (see moot).Extra examples The box lay empty on the bed. The city is letting useful housing stand empty. The house felt curiously empty without the children. The house had been left empty for several weeks. The reservoirs could end up empty if this dry weather continues. The streets were empty of people. There was a vast expanse of totally empty sky to look at. There were a few chairs, but the room was otherwise empty. We all feel very empty now she’s gone. a half-empty box of chocolates For the first time in years, the town square was empty of pigeons. It’s not good to drink alcohol on an empty stomach. The house had been standing empty for some time. The theatre was half empty. an empty box/​glass an empty house/​room/​bus an empty plate empty hands
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: empty