[ van-ish ]
/ ˈvæn ɪʃ /

verb (used without object)

to disappear from sight, especially quickly; become invisible: The frost vanished when the sun came out.
to go away, especially furtively or mysteriously; disappear by quick departure: The thief vanished in the night.
to disappear by ceasing to exist; come to an end: The pain vanished after he took an aspirin.
Mathematics. (of a number, quantity, or function) to become zero.

verb (used with object)

to cause to disappear.


Phonetics. the last part of a vowel sound when it differs noticeably in quality from the main sound, as the faint (ē) at the end of the (ā) in the pronunciation of pain.

Nearby words

  1. vanillin,
  2. vanillism,
  3. vanillylmandelic acid,
  4. vanillylmandelic acid test,
  5. vanir,
  6. vanishing cream,
  7. vanishing lung syndrome,
  8. vanishing point,
  9. vanitas,
  10. vanitory

Origin of vanish

1275–1325; Middle English vanisshen, vanissen < Middle French evaniss-, long stem of e(s)vanirLatin ex- ex-1 + vānēscere to pass away, equivalent to vān(us) vain + -ēscere inchoative suffix

Related forms

Synonym study

1. See disappear. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for vanish

British Dictionary definitions for vanish


/ (ˈvænɪʃ) /

verb (intr)

to disappear, esp suddenly or mysteriously
to cease to exist; fade away
maths to become zero


phonetics rare the second and weaker of the two vowels in a falling diphthong
Derived Formsvanisher, nounvanishingly, adverb

Word Origin for vanish

C14: vanissen, from Old French esvanir, from Latin ēvānēscere to evaporate, from ē- ex- 1 + vānēscere to pass away, from vānus empty

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

Word Origin and History for vanish



c.1300, from shortened form of stem of Old French esvanir "disappear," from Vulgar Latin *exvanire, from Latin evanescere "disappear, die out," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + vanescere "vanish," from vanus "empty" (see vain). Related: Vanished; vanishing. Vanishing point in perspective drawing is recorded from 1797.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with vanish


see under into thin air.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.