In everyday usage, vacuum is a volume of space that is essentially empty of matter, such that its gaseous pressure is much less than atmospheric pressure. The word comes from the Latin term for "empty". A perfect vacuum would be one with no particles in it at all, which is impossible to achieve in...
, or region of low pressure. The pressure gradient
Pressure gradient force
The pressure gradient force is not actually a 'force' but the acceleration of air due to pressure difference . It is usually responsible for accelerating a parcel of air from a high atmospheric pressure region to a low pressure region, resulting in wind...
between this region and the ambient pressure will propel matter toward the low pressure area. Suction is popularly thought of as an attractive effect, which is incorrect since vacuums do not innately attract matter. Dust being "sucked" into a vacuum cleaner
A vacuum cleaner, commonly referred to as a "vacuum," is a device that uses an air pump to create a partial vacuum to suck up dust and dirt, usually from floors, and optionally from other surfaces as well. The dirt is collected by either a dustbag or a cyclone for later disposal...
is actually being pushed in by the higher pressure air on the outside of the cleaner.
The higher pressure of the surrounding fluid can push matter into a vacuum but a vacuum cannot attract matter.
Pumps typically have an inlet where the fluid enters the pump and an outlet where the fluid comes out.