[ van-i-tee ]
See synonyms for vanity on
noun,plural van·i·ties.
  1. excessive pride in one's appearance, qualities, abilities, achievements, etc.; character or quality of being vain; conceit: Failure to be elected was a great blow to his vanity.

  2. an instance or display of this quality or feeling.

  1. something about which one is vain or excessively proud: His good looks are his greatest vanity.

  2. lack of real value; hollowness; worthlessness: the vanity of a selfish life.

  3. something worthless, trivial, or pointless.

  4. a wide, counterlike shelf containing a wash basin, as in the bathroom of a hotel or residence, often equipped with shelves, drawers, etc., underneath.

  5. a cabinet built below or around a bathroom sink, primarily to hide exposed pipes.

  1. produced as a showcase for one's own talents, especially as a writer, actor, singer, or composer: surprisingly entertaining for a vanity production.

  2. of, relating to, or issued by a vanity press: a spate of vanity books.

Origin of vanity

First recorded in 1200–50; Middle English vanite from Old French vanité from Latin vānitās, equivalent to vān- (see vain) + -itās -ity

synonym study For vanity

1. See pride.

Other words for vanity

Opposites for vanity

Other words from vanity

  • van·i·tied, adjective

Words Nearby vanity Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use vanity in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for vanity


/ (ˈvænɪtɪ) /

nounplural -ties
  1. the state or quality of being vain; excessive pride or conceit

  2. ostentation occasioned by ambition or pride

  1. an instance of being vain or something about which one is vain

  2. the state or quality of being valueless, futile, or unreal

  3. something that is worthless or useless

  4. NZ short for vanity unit

Origin of vanity

C13: from Old French vanité, from Latin vānitās emptiness, 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