vacuum

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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.
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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

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.
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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

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.
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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

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