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Definition lacking intelligent thought

In addition to usage such as "vacuous comments" that indicate a lack of intelligent thought; vacuous can also indicate a lack of attention as in "a vacuous stare", or an absence of meaning as in "a vacuous life".

More rarely, and especially in older usage, vacuous may refer to physical emptiness — such as "a vacuous warehouse".
  • It is a vacuous, feel-good philosophy.
vacuous = lacking intelligent thought
  • Her vacuous comments were either off topic or erroneous.
  • vacuous = lacking intelligent thought
  • He had that vacuous look that comes from too much medication.
  • vacuous = lacking intelligent thought
  • Her credentials do not add weight to such vacuous comments.
  • vacuous = lacking intelligent thought
  • She closed her eyes an instant, and the vacuous routine of the life she had chosen stretched before her like a long white road without dip or turning...
    Edith Wharton  --  The House of Mirth
  • A sudden animation replaced the vacuous stare of the blue eyes.
    Louis Joseph Vance  --  The Fortune Hunter
  • It was bland and vacuous.
  • I felt sick inside as I looked at his dull, vacuous smile—the wide, bright eyes of a child, uncertain but eager to please, and I realized what I had recognized in him.
    Daniel Keyes  --  Flowers for Algernon — Novel
  • vacuous = lacking intelligent thought
  • A vacuous crooning noise came from her slack mouth.
    Stephen King  --  The Shining
  • vacuous = lacking intelligent thought
  • His eyes seemed wandering, vacuous again.
    Stephen King  --  Cujo
  • vacuous = lacking intelligent thought
  • He suddenly opened the medicine cabinet. He stared rather vacuously into it for a few seconds, as though he had forgotten why he opened it,
    J.D. Salinger  --  Franny and Zooey
  • vacuously = without thought
  • Four other monks surrounded him like disciples, all dressed in the same tattered robes, all bald, all smiling Cacciato's vacuous smile.
    Tim O'Brien  --  Going After Cacciato
  • vacuous = lacking intelligent thought
  • For now she had to figure a way to separate this vacuous girl from her mirrored sunglasses.
    Eoin Colfer  --  Artemis Fowl
  • vacuous = lacking intelligent thought
  • people were doing "stunts" all over the garden, while happy, vacuous bursts of laughter rose toward the summer sky.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  The Great Gatsby
  • vacuous = lacking intelligent thought
  • Again a startled look came over the somewhat vacuous face of Miss Mary Sutherland.
    Arthur Conan Doyle  --  The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
  • vacuous = lacking intelligent thought
  • ESTRAGON: I've forgotten. (Chews.) ...  Ah yes, now I remember.

    VLADIMIR: Well?

    ESTRAGON: (his mouth full, vacuously). We're not...
    Samuel Beckett  --  Waiting for Godot
  • vacuously = without intelligent thought
  • Only Reba, with her light pimply skin and deferential manner, looked as though her simplicity might also be vacuousness.
    Toni Morrison  --  Song of Solomon
  • vacuousness = the lack of intelligent thought
    (Editor's note:  The suffix "-ness" converts an adjective to a noun that means the quality of. This is the same pattern you see in words like darkness, kindness, and coolness.)
  • "Blood," Henry said, and smiled with a kind of vacuous surprise.
    Stephen King  --  Carrie
  • vacuous = lacking intelligent thought
  • In the study of the profession to which he had looked forward all his life he found irritation and vacuity as well as...
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Arrowsmith
  • vacuity = lack of intelligent thought
  • he would not become a ... vain, vacuous speaker;
    Hermann Hesse  --  Siddhartha
vacuous = lacking intelligent thought

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