empty

\ \ [OE] The original meaning of Old English ǣmtig appears to have been ‘unoccupied, at leisure’, and it was only secondarily that it developed the physical connotations of ‘not full’ which have come down to us in empty. (It also meant ‘unmarried’.) It was a derivative of the noun ǣmettarest, leisure’. This is a word of uncertain history, but it has been plausibly analysed as the negative prefix ǣ- plus a derivative of the root which produced modern English mete (as in ‘mete out’), meaning something like ‘not assigned’.
\ \ Cf.METE

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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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 — 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… …   Etymology 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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