- evacuate (v.)
- 1520s, from Latin evacuatus, past participle of evacuare "to empty, make void, nullify," used by Pliny in reference to the bowels, used figuratively in Late Latin for "clear out," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + vacuus "empty" (see vacuum).
Earliest sense in English is medical. Meaning "remove inhabitants to safer ground" is from 1934. Replaced Middle English evacuen (c.1400). Related: Evacuated; evacuating.