Middle English Dictionary Entry

vacaunt adj.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) Unoccupied, empty; uninhabited, tenantless; also in fig. context [last quot.]; (b) ~ of (from), lacking in (sth.), free of; also in fig. context [last quot.]; (c) of time: unfilled by duties, given to leisure, free; (d) ?of the earth: idle, unprofitable [perh. error for (e) through misinterpretation of cpd. adj. phrase]; (e) of a person: homeless, destitute; also, vagrant, shiftless.
Of an episcopal see, ecclesiastical or curial office, a benefice, etc.: without an incumbent, open, unfilled; ~ and voide, voide and (or) ~; ~ of, without (a prelate); also, of a realm: lacking (a king).

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1500 ?Scrope Ribot First Monks (Lamb 192)136/2 : Ȝe ascendyn to the myrrowr of God; þerto be vacant to heuynly contemplacyons and ther ȝe take vpon ȝow to fytth and wrestel aȝens the cursyd spyrytes.
  • Note: Ed.: "'vacant to' that is, 'free to devote yourselves to...'
    Note: New sense.
    Note: Cf. OED vacant, adj. sense 4d. "At leisure to devote oneself to some object". Recorded in 1631.