Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR EMPTY

Man followed their example and searched until he found an empty grotto.

The roads are empty, the fields are deserted, the houses of entertainment are closed.

"As empty as an English squire, coz," cried the first speaker.

It was a large dry cellar, empty save for the old packing-case.

Although he ate little, the dining-room was empty when he finished.

With the letter in his hand, he sat by his table and looked ahead into the empty years.

Her world was in pieces about her, and she felt alone in a wide and empty place.

Harriet was asleep on the couch at the foot of her bed, and Christine's rooms were empty.

I've been empty too often myself not to sympathize with its condition.

Besides, the empty jar will save trouble at the customhouse.

WORD ORIGIN

c.1200, from Old English æmettig "at leisure, not occupied, unmarried," from æmetta "leisure," from æ "not" + -metta, from motan "to have" (see might (n.)). The -p- is a euphonic insertion.

Sense evolution from "at leisure" to "empty" is paralleled in several languages, e.g. Modern Greek 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 Middle English empten, from Old English geæmtigian. Related: Emptied; emptying. Figurative sense of empty-nester first attested 1987. Empty-handed attested from 1610s.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR EMPTY

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.