Vain Vain, a. [Compar. {Vainer}; superl. {Vainest}.] [F. vain, L. vanus empty, void, vain. Cf. {Vanish}, {Vanity}, {Vaunt} to boast.] [1913 Webster] 1. Having no real substance, value, or importance; empty; void; worthless; unsatisfying. ``Thy vain excuse.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Every man walketh in a vain show. --Ps. xxxix. 6. [1913 Webster]

Let no man deceive you with vain words. --Eph. v. 6. [1913 Webster]

Vain pomp, and glory of this world, I hate ye! --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Vain visdom all, and false philosophy. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

2. Destitute of forge or efficacy; effecting no purpose; fruitless; ineffectual; as, vain toil; a vain attempt. [1913 Webster]

Bring no more vain oblations. --Isa. i. 13. [1913 Webster]

Vain is the force of man To crush the pillars which the pile sustain. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

3. Proud of petty things, or of trifling attainments; having a high opinion of one's own accomplishments with slight reason; conceited; puffed up; inflated. [1913 Webster]

But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith apart from works is barren? --James ii. 20 (Rev. Ver.). [1913 Webster]

The minstrels played on every side, Vain of their art. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

4. Showy; ostentatious. [1913 Webster]

Load some vain church with old theatric state. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Empty; worthless; fruitless; ineffectual; idle; unreal; shadowy; showy; ostentatious; light; inconstant; deceitful; delusive; unimportant; trifling. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • vain — vain …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • vain — vain, vaine [ vɛ̃, vɛn ] adj. • déb. XIIe; lat. vanus 1 ♦ Vx Vide. « De vains tombeaux » (P. Corneille) :des cénotaphes. Mod. Vaine pâture. 2 ♦ Vieilli Qui est sans consistance, sans réalité. ⇒ irréel. « Nous sommes abusés par de vaines images »… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • vain — vain, aine (vin, vè n ) adj. 1°   Proprement, vide, ce qui est le sens étymologique conservé seulement dans les locutions suivantes : vaine pâture, terres où il n y a ni semences, ni fruits, et, par suite, où tous les habitants d une commune… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • vain — VAIN, [v]aine. adj. Inutile, Qui ne produit rien. Faire de vains efforts. toutes ses sollicitations ont esté vaines. On appelle, Terres vaines & vagues, Des terres inutiles, incultes, qui ne produisent rien, & qui ne sont reclamées de personne.… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • vain — [veın] adj [Date: 1300 1400; : Old French; Origin: Latin vanus empty, vain ] 1.) someone who is vain is too proud of their good looks, abilities, or position used to show disapproval = ↑conceited ▪ Men can be just as vain as women. see usage note …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • vain — [ veın ] adjective * 1. ) someone who is vain is very proud and thinks they are very attractive or special: CONCEITED: He was vain about his looks, spending hours in the gym. 2. ) unsuccessful or useless: a vain attempt/bid/effort: They made a… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Vain — Vain, n. Vanity; emptiness; now used only in the phrase in vain. [1913 Webster] {For vain}. See {In vain}. [Obs.] Shak. {In vain}, to no purpose; without effect; ineffectually. In vain doth valor bleed. Milton. In vain they do worship me. Matt.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Vain — Datos generales Nacimiento 1986 Origen San Francisco …   Wikipedia Español

  • vain — [vān] adj. [OFr < L vanus, empty, vain: see WANT] 1. having no real value or significance; worthless, empty, idle, hollow, etc. [vain pomp] 2. without force or effect; futile, fruitless, unprofitable, unavailing, etc. [a vain endeavor] 3.… …   English World dictionary

  • vain — 1 Vain, nugatory, otiose, idle, empty, hollow are comparable when they mean devoid of worth or significance. Something vain (see also FUTILE) is devoid of all value, either absolutely because worthless, superfluous, or unprofitable or relatively… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

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