Vain definition

vān
Frequency:
Having or showing excessive pride in one's appearance or accomplishments; conceited.
adjective
32
23
Having no real substance, value, or importance; empty; void; worthless; unsatisfying.
adjective
6
6
Effecting no purpose; pointless, futile.

Vain toil; a vain attempt.

adjective
5
5
Without force or effect; futile, fruitless, unprofitable, unavailing, etc.

A vain endeavor.

adjective
12
14
The definition of vain is someone or something without value, without force or who is conceited.

An example of vain is a promise that someone doesn't intend to keep.

An example of vain is an attempt to prune a bush only to have it removed the following day.

An example of vain is a person who constantly talks about how good looking they are.

adjective
3
5
Advertisement
Overly proud of oneself, especially concerning appearance; having a high opinion of one's own accomplishments with slight reason.
adjective
1
4
Showy; ostentatious.
adjective
0
3
Having no real value or significance; worthless, empty, idle, hollow, etc.

Vain pomp.

adjective
7
13
Having or showing an excessively high regard for one's self, looks, possessions, ability, etc.; indulging in or resulting from personal vanity; conceited.
adjective
6
13
(archaic) Foolish.
adjective
5
12
Advertisement
(archaic) Lacking in sense; foolish.
adjective
3
10
Not yielding the desired outcome; fruitless.

A vain attempt.

adjective
16
24
Lacking substance or worth.

Vain talk.

adjective
5
13
in vain
  • To no avail; without success:
    Our labor was in vain.
  • In an irreverent or disrespectful manner:
    Took the Lord's name in vain.
idiom
3
10
in vain
  • fruitlessly; vainly
  • lightly; profanely; irreverently
idiom
2
10
Advertisement

Other Word Forms

Adjective

Base Form:
vain
Comparative:
vainer
Superlative:
vainest

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

Origin of vain

  • Middle English from Old French from Latin vānus empty euə- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English, from Old French vain, from Latin vānus (“empty")

    From Wiktionary