As an adjective, all the way back to c. 897. After reading a little from a contemporary nonfiction work with a great premise, I discover an OED bon bon to express my feelings about the book's writing: 1599 SHAKES. Hen. V, IV. iv. 73 The empty vessel makes the greatest sound.
(Today I've been thinking a little about The Taming of the Shrew--and of course, because what else is new? about Mad Men--but Henry has the empty).