Holding or containing nothing. Mathematics Having no elements or members; null: an empty set. Having no occupants or inhabitants; vacant: an empty chair; empty desert. Lacking force or power: an empty threat. Lacking purpose or substance; meaningless: an empty life. Not put to use; idle: empty hours. Needing nourishment; hungry: "More fierce and more inexorable far/Than empty tigers or the roaring sea\u201d ( Shakespeare). Devoid; destitute: empty of pity. To remove the contents of: emptied the dishwasher. To transfer or pour off completely: empty the ashes into a pail. To unburden; relieve: empty oneself of doubt. To become empty: The theater emptied after the performance. To discharge its contents: The river empties into a bay. Informal An empty container.