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If all occupants left a house for a short period of time (not longer than a day), how can that house be described?

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I would call it a temporarily empty house. –  Mehper C. Palavuzlar Feb 25 '12 at 13:26
    
What's your motivation? –  Mitch Feb 25 '12 at 13:37
    
I think this is general reference. The potential difference in nuance between an unoccupied house and an empty house seems clear to me. It's also clear OP is familiar with the word occupant, so it should be easy for him to grasp this distinction. –  FumbleFingers Feb 25 '12 at 14:07
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ripe for the picking? –  Sam Feb 25 '12 at 14:35
    
The phrase "temporarily empty house" sounds awkward though. I posted this question because I want to be concise. –  Dave Feb 26 '12 at 0:23

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Unoccupied

un·oc·cu·pied/ˌənˈäkyəˌpīd/ Adjective: (of ground) Not occupied by inhabitants. (of premises) Having fixtures and furniture but no inhabitants or occupants.

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The word "unoccupied" can ignore the duration. Check this link feliciaawilliams.suite101.com/… –  Dave Feb 26 '12 at 0:27
    
Would the downvoter care to explain what they thought was wrong with the answer? Thanks! –  Mark Beadles Feb 29 '12 at 12:28

Since words like unoccupied and vacant bear a connotation of a more extended time, I think at least in an informal context I would say: "a house where no one is home" or similar.

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There's also vacant or vacated.

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While one of the definitions of vacant is unoccupied, in addition to being unoccupied, these terms also imply the house has no furniture or other contents, and/or is not being used. The OP is looking for short-term absences. –  Jay Elston Feb 27 '12 at 23:38

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