[ veyn ]
/ veɪn /
adjective, vain·er, vain·est.
excessively proud of or concerned about one's own appearance, qualities, achievements, etc.; conceited: a vain dandy.
proceeding from or showing pride in or concern about one's appearance, qualities, etc.; resulting from or displaying vanity: He made some vain remarks about his accomplishments.
ineffectual or unsuccessful; futile: vain hopes; a vain effort; a vain war.
without real significance, value, or importance; baseless or worthless: vain pageantry; vain display.
Archaic. senseless or foolish.
- without effect or avail; to no purpose: lives lost in vain; to apologize in vain.
- in an improper or irreverent manner: to take God's name in vain.
Origin of vain
1250–1300; Middle English < Old French < Latin vānus empty, vain
SYNONYMS FOR vain
vain·ly, adverbvain·ness, nounun·vain, adjectiveun·vain·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for vainness
His was a curious temperament, and this sentimentality, born of vainness and idle hours, by no means expressed it all.Lysbeth|H. Rider Haggard
British Dictionary definitions for vainness
/ (veɪn) /
inordinately proud of one's appearance, possessions, or achievements
given to ostentatious display, esp of one's beauty
senseless or futile
in vain to no avail; fruitlessly
take someone's name in vain
- to use the name of someone, esp God, without due respect or reverence
- jocular to mention someone's name
Derived Formsvainly, adverbvainness, noun
Word Origin for vain
C13: via Old French from Latin vānus
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Idioms and Phrases with vainness
see in vain; take someone's name in vain.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.