vacuous | vacuousness | vacuously

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Civil Services



lacking in intelligence and ideas

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vacuous - empty

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The word ‘vacuous’ is a formal way of describing something or somebody stupid and/or meaningless. It is generally used to express disapproval, though something ‘vacuous’ might still be considered fun in a frivolous kind of way in some social contexts. A good way of remembering how to use the term is to think of the similar-looking word ‘vacuum’ which means ‘a place entirely devoid of substance or matter’.


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  1. The whole time I was explaining the concept to Tom, he had a vacuous expression on his face. I don't think he understood any of it.

  2. Due to the vacuousness of modern television, I prefer to spend my leisure time reading or exercising, though some people really enjoy that kind of entertainment.

  3. I want somebody qualified and informed to make the presentation, not some lackey just vacuously reeling off facts and figures from a piece of paper.

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