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in a vacuum

In total isolation; having no interaction with or connection to other people, places, or actions. Your actions don't occur in a vacuum; they affect everyone else here, too! Being in such a remote, rural town can sometimes feel like living in a vacuum.
See also: vacuum

nature abhors a vacuum

Any absence of a regular or expected person or thing will soon be filled by someone or something similar. Based on Aristotle's observation that no true vacuums exist in nature (on Earth) because the difference in pressure results in an immediate force that acts to correct the equilibrium. Nature abhors a vacuum, and in such a manner so too does the corporate hierarchy. Either the vacuum left by a departing manager or executive must be filled immediately, or the company risks languishing and eventually imploding. A live presentation cannot cope with dead, silent air time, in the same manner that nature abhors a vacuum.
See also: nature, vacuum

vacuum out

1. To clean dirt or debris out (of something or some place) with a vacuum cleaner. A noun or pronoun can be used between "vacuum" and "out." With two toddlers, it feels like I'm vacuuming crumbs out of my car nearly every week. I tried to vacuum out most of the dirt, but some of it has gotten caked onto the inside of the tub.
2. To rid something or some place of dirt or debris by cleaning it with a vacuum cleaner. A noun or pronoun can be used between "vacuum" and "out." Make sure you vacuum out your car before you go pick up your mom from the airport. Please vacuum the room out after you have removed all your belongings.
3. By extension, to remove something (from some place or someone's possession) completely and very quickly. A noun or pronoun can be used between "vacuum" and "out." These loan sharks start vacuuming money out of your account if you don't repay what you borrow as soon as possible. Big cities like this one would become incredibly eerie if you were to vacuum out all the people out of them.
See also: out, vacuum

vacuum up

1. To gather up dirt or debris with a vacuum cleaner. A noun or pronoun can be used between "vacuum" and "up." With two toddlers, it feels like I'm always vacuuming up crumbs all over the house. I tried to vacuum up most of the dirt, but some of it has gotten caked into the rug.
2. To collect, obtain, or steal a large number or amount of something very rapidly, especially in a secret or inconspicuous manner. A noun or pronoun can be used between "vacuum" and "up." The company has been vacuuming up properties all over town to build more apartment complexes. The malware runs on your computer in the background and vacuums up all your personal information.
3. To consume a large amount of food or drink very rapidly. A noun or pronoun can be used between "vacuum" and "up." The kids came in from the playground and vacuumed up their lunch. You're going to feel awful tomorrow if you keep vacuuming beer up like that.
See also: up, vacuum
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

Nature abhors a vacuum.

Prov. If there is a gap, something will fill it. Jill: As soon as the beggar who used to work that corner left, another one showed up. Jane: Nature abhors a vacuum.
See also: nature, vacuum

vacuum something out

to clean an enclosed area out with a vacuum cleaner. Please vacuum this car out now! Can you vacuum out the car?
See also: out, vacuum

vacuum something up (from something)

to clean something up from something with a vacuum cleaner. Fred vacuumed the dirt up from the carpet. He vacuumed up the birdseed from the kitchen floor.
See also: up, vacuum
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

in a vacuum

COMMON If something exists or happens in a vacuum, it seems to exist or happen separately from the things that you would expect it to be connected with. Property values do not exist in a vacuum. The market value of a house can fall if the biggest employer in town closes or a noisy club opens next door. Such decisions do not occur in a political vacuum, but have serious political implications both at home and abroad.
See also: vacuum
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

do something in a ˈvacuum

do something alone or separately from other people, events, etc., especially when there should be a connection: No novel is written in a vacuum. There are always influences from past writers.
See also: something, vacuum
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

nature abhors a vacuum

Empty spaces are usually filled. This seemingly very scientific statement actually was first made by Rabelais in Gargantua (1534), in Latin: Natura abhorret vacuum; Rabelais later repeated it in French in Pantagruel (1548). A century later Thomas Fuller also stated, “Queen Joan . . . (hating widowhood as much as nature doth vacuum) married James, King of Majorca.”
See also: nature, vacuum
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Full Research Report On Global Vacuum Pouches Market Analysis available at:
With weak suction power and short battery life, identified as technological impediments against the wide and rapid market penetration of battery powered vacuum cleaners, LG's latest line-up will serve as a perfect solution to these gaps within the vacuum cleaner market.
Vacuum coating thickness also must be considered as one of the main parameters.
Maqsood Zulfqar, CEO, Rastgar and Co, specially thanked the industrialists for showing interest in Becker Vacuum Technology and Rastgar services.
Visit to see all of the 2017 Best Vacuum Cleaner Lists with reviews, costs and details for each and every machine.
An upstream vacuum reservoir ensures that the required vacuum level and pumping speed are constantly available.
The claw type vacuum pump is a unique design intended to operate at very high vacuum levels.
* Open vacuum ports are effectively a leak in the system and increase energy use.
This not only minimizes the system's vacuum level fluctuations, but also operates the pump at the lowest possible energy point.
The newly developed G-TRAN Series "Multi Ionization Gauge SH2" is separation type wide range vacuum gauge that can connect three different types of vacuum gauges by incorporating signal from Pirani gauge "SPU" and Atmospheric sensor "SAU".
The unit consists of up to three oil-lubricated vacuum pumps, one reservoir tank, one control unit to manually or automatically operate the vacuum unit and any necessary system peripherals.
Three types of vacuum pumps are available as accessories for products, including freeze dry systems, glove boxes, centrifugal concentrators, and vacuum desiccators.
DOHA Dubai-based Corodex Electromechanic, a part of Concorde- Corodex Group (CCG) has won the contract to construct a vacuum sewerage system for Qatar Aluminium (Qatalum), the world's largest aluminum plant.
A vacuum has been used for decades in diecasting operations and is particularly advantageous for aluminum parts that must be heat treated or welded.