empty

empty c.1200, from O.E. æmettig "at leisure, not occupied, unmarried," from æmetta "leisure," from æ "not" + -metta, from motan "to have" (see MIGHT (Cf. might)). The -p- is a euphonic insertion. Sense evolution from "at leisure" to "empty" is paralleled in several languages, e.g. Mod.Gk. adeios "empty," originally "freedom from fear," from deios "fear." "The adj. adeios must have been applied first to persons who enjoyed freedom from duties, leisure, and so were unoccupied, whence it was extended to objects that were unoccupied" [Buck]. The adjective also yielded a verb (1520s), replacing M.E. empten, from O.E. geæmtigian. Related: Emptied; emptying. Figurative sense of empty-nester first attested 1987. Empty-handed attested from 1610s.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Empty — Emp ty (?; 215), a. [Compar. {Emptier}; superl. {Emptiest}.] [AS. emtig, [ae]mtig, [ae]metig, fr. [ae]mta, [ae]metta, quiet, leisure, rest; of uncertain origin; cf. G. emsig busy.] 1. Containing nothing; not holding or having anything within;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • empty — adj 1 Empty, vacant, blank, void, vacuous mean lacking the contents that could or should be present. Something is empty which has nothing in it; something is vacant which is without an occupant, incumbent, tenant, inmate, or the person or thing… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • empty — [emp′tē] adj. emptier, emptiest [ME emti & (with intrusive p ) empti < OE æmettig, unoccupied, lit., at leisure < æmetta, leisure (< æ , without + base of motan, to have to: see MUST1) + ig, Y2] 1. containing nothing; having nothing in… …   English World dictionary

  • empty — ► ADJECTIVE (emptier, emptiest) 1) containing nothing; not filled or occupied. 2) having no meaning or likelihood of fulfilment: an empty threat. 3) having no value or purpose. ► VERB (empties, emptied) …   English terms dictionary

  • Empty — Emp ty, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Emptied}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Emptying}.] To deprive of the contents; to exhaust; to make void or destitute; to make vacant; to pour out; to discharge; as, to empty a vessel; to empty a well or a cistern. [1913 Webster]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • empty — [adj1] containing nothing abandoned, bare, barren, blank, clear, dead, deflated, depleted, desert, deserted, desolate, despoiled, destitute, devoid, dry, evacuated, exhausted, forsaken, godforsaken*, hollow, lacking, stark, unfilled, unfurnished …   New thesaurus

  • empty of — completely without (something) The arena was empty of spectators. The streets are now empty of traffic. • • • Main Entry: ↑empty …   Useful english dictionary

  • Empty — Emp ty, n.; pl. {Empties}. An empty box, crate, cask, etc.; used in commerce, esp. in transportation of freight; as, special rates for empties. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Empty — Emp ty, v. i. 1. To discharge itself; as, a river empties into the ocean. [1913 Webster] 2. To become empty. The chapel empties. B. Jonson. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • empty — index barren, baseless, consume, deficient, deplete, devoid, diminish, dissipate (expend foolishly), evacuate …   Law dictionary

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