Is there a difference in context or connotation between the verbs 'vuotare' and 'svuotare', both meaning 'to empty'?

2 Answers 2


The verbs 'vuotare' and 'svuotare' indicate the same action and can be used both to define the action of emptying something, or in figurative sense (i.e. In estate la città si svuota / vuota)

Here you can find a definition of 'svuotare'. Here you can find a definition of 'vuotare'.

  • Why shouldn't you use vuotare in a figurative sense? You can indeed, and treccani.it/vocabolario/vuotare confirms this (“il suo discorso si è vuotato così d’ogni significato”).
    – DaG
    Dec 23, 2013 at 10:02
  • @DaG: You're right. I've edited my answer
    – Joe Taras
    Dec 23, 2013 at 10:05
  • Joe, how did you edit the answer? I ask because I see you wrote almost nothing here. Dec 23, 2013 at 12:21
  • 1
    `svuotare', as the link said, tends to give the idea of a completely empty object, ie it is 'intensivo'
    – rano
    Dec 23, 2013 at 13:17
  • 1
    @fool4jesus exactly
    – rano
    Jun 22, 2021 at 19:20

In my experience (native language speaker) svuotare is a bit stronger and less technical. Also, the initial 's' sounds almost onomatopoeic, giving a definite emphasis.

  • It is like scancellare and cancellare: The starting S gives more emphasis.
    – apaderno
    Dec 30, 2013 at 5:51
  • Scancellare is a bit weird though. Maybe formally correct, but you won't find it in a newspaper article.
    – gioppe
    Jan 7, 2014 at 9:13

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