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Webster 1913 Edition


Vain

Vain

(vān)
,
Adj.
[
Com
par.
Vainer
;
sup
erl.
Vainest
.]
[F.
vain
, L.
vanus
empty, void, vain. Cf.
Vanish
,
Vanity
,
Vaunt
to boast.]
1.
Having no real substance, value, or importance; empty; void; worthless; unsatisfying.
“Thy vain excuse.”
Shak.
Every man walketh in a
vain
show.
Ps. xxxix. 6.
Let no man deceive you with
vain
words.
Eph. v. 6.
Vain
pomp, and glory of this world, I hate ye!
Shakespeare
Vain
wisdom all, and false philosophy.
Milton.
2.
Destitute of force or efficacy; effecting no purpose; fruitless; ineffectual;
as,
vain
toil; a
vain
attempt
.
Bring no more
vain
oblations.
Isa. i. 13.
Vain
is the force of man
To crush the pillars which the pile sustain.
Dryden.
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.
But wilt thou know, O
vain
man, that faith apart from works is barren?
James ii. 20 (Rev. Ver.).
The minstrels played on every side,
Vain
of their art.
Dryden.
4.
Showy; ostentatious.
Load some
vain
church with old theatric state.
Pope.
Syn. – Empty; worthless; fruitless; ineffectual; idle; unreal; shadowy; showy; ostentatious; light; inconstant; deceitful; delusive; unimportant; trifling.

Vain

,
Noun.
Vanity; emptiness; – now used only in the phrase
in vain
.
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. xv. 9.
To take the name of God in vain
,
to use the name of God with levity or profaneness.

Webster 1828 Edition


Vain

VAIN

,
Adj.
[L. vanus; Eng. wan, wane, want.]
1.
Empty; worthless; having no substance, value or importance. 1Peter 1.
To your vain answer will you have recourse.
Every man walketh in a vain show. Ps. 39.
Why do the people imagine a vain thing? Ps. 2.
2.
Fruitless; ineffectual. All attempts, all efforts were vain.
Vain is the force of man.
3.
Proud of petty things, or of trifling attainments; elated with a high opinion of one's own accomplishments, or with things more showy than valuable; conceited.
The minstrels play'd on every side, vain of their art -
4.
Empty; unreal; as a vain chimers.
5.
Showy; ostentatious.
Load some vain church with old theatric state.
6.
Light; inconstant; worthless. Prov. 12.
7.
Empty; unsatisfying. The pleasures of life are vain.
8.
False; deceitful; not genuine; spurious. James 1.
9.
Not effectual; having no efficacy
Bring no more vain oblations. Is. 1.
In vain, to no purpose; without effect; ineffectual.
In vain they do worship me. Matt. 15.
To take the name of God in vain, to use the name of God with levity or profaneness.

Definition 2022


vain

vain

See also: väin

English

Adjective

vain (comparative vainer or more vain, superlative vainest or most vain)

  1. Overly proud of oneself, especially concerning appearance; having a high opinion of one's own accomplishments with slight reason.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Leo Rosten
      Every writer is a narcissist. This does not mean that he is vain; it only means that he is hopelessly self-absorbed.
  2. Having no real substance, value, or importance; empty; void; worthless; unsatisfying.
  3. Effecting no purpose; pointless, futile.
    vain toil; a vain attempt
    • John Dryden (1631-1700)
      Vain is the force of man / To crush the pillars which the pile sustain.
    • (Can we date this quote?) William of Occam
      It is vain to do with more what can be done with fewer.
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 6, in A Cuckoo in the Nest:
      But Sophia's mother was not the woman to brook defiance. After a few moments' vain remonstrance her husband complied. His manner and appearance were suggestive of a satiated sea-lion.
  4. Showy; ostentatious.
    • Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
      Load some vain church with old theatric state.

Synonyms

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

External links

  • vain in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
  • vain in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911

Anagrams


Dalmatian

Alternative forms

Etymology

From Latin vīnum. Compare Istriot veîn.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): βeŋ

Noun

vain m

  1. wine

Finnish

Adverb

vain

  1. only, merely, exclusively, solely, just
  2. ever, in the phrasal adjective mikä vain
  3. whenever, in the phrasal adjective milloin vain

Usage notes

In many dialects, this word has transformed to vaan.

Derived terms

Synonyms

Anagrams


French

Etymology

From Old French vain, from Latin vānus.

Pronunciation

Adjective

vain m (feminine singular vaine, masculine plural vains, feminine plural vaines)

  1. useless, ineffective, fruitless
  2. vain, shallow

Synonyms

Related terms


Norman

Etymology

From Old French vain, from Latin vānus (empty).

Adjective

vain m

  1. (Jersey) vain

Derived terms