in vain


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vain

 (vān)
adj. vain·er, vain·est
1. Not yielding the desired outcome; fruitless: a vain attempt.
2. Lacking substance or worth: vain talk.
3. Having or showing excessive pride in one's appearance or accomplishments; conceited.
4. Archaic Foolish.
Idiom:
in vain
1. To no avail; without success: Our labor was in vain.
2. In an irreverent or disrespectful manner: took the Lord's name in vain.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin vānus, empty; see euə- in Indo-European roots.]

vain′ly adv.
vain′ness n.
Synonyms: vain, empty, hollow, idle, otiose
These adjectives mean lacking value or substance: vain regrets; empty pleasures; hollow threats; idle dreams; otiose theoretical discussions. See Also Synonyms at futile.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.in vain - to no avail; "he looked for her in vain"; "the city fathers tried vainly to find a solution"
Translations
بِدون جَدْوى
marně
forgæves
en baldeen vano
turhaan
uzaluduzaludno
hiába
árangurslausttil einskisunnið fyrir gýgárangurslaus
in cassum
förgäves
boş yereboşuna

vain

(vein) adjective
1. having too much pride in one's appearance, achievements etc; conceited. She's very vain about her good looks.
2. unsuccessful. He made a vain attempt to reach the drowning woman.
3. empty; meaningless. vain threats; vain promises.
ˈvainly adverb
unsuccessfully. He searched vainly for the treasure.
vanity (ˈvӕnəti) noun
1. excessive admiration of oneself; conceit. Vanity is her chief fault.
2. worthlessness or pointlessness. the vanity of human ambition.
in vain
with no success. He tried in vain to open the locked door.
References in classic literature ?
Desist (thou art discerned, And toil'st in vain), nor me in vain molest.
In vain did we count the tedious moments of his absence--in vain did we weep--in vain even did we sigh--no Edward returned--.
In vain, oh whale, dost thou seek intercedings with yon all-quickening sun, that only calls forth life, but gives it not again.
In vain he described the bird to his attendants, who rushed at his first call; in vain they sought the wonderful creature both on horse and foot, and summoned the fowlers to their aid: the bird could nowhere be found.
In vain had she remonstrated, in vain she had mingled his wine with water: her arguments and entreaties were a nuisance, her interference was an insult so intolerable that, at length, on finding she had covertly diluted the pale port that was brought him, he threw the bottle out of window, swearing he would not be cheated like a baby, ordered the butler, on pain of instant dismissal, to bring a bottle of the strongest wine in the cellar, and affirming that he should have been well long ago if he had been let to have his own way, but she wanted to keep him weak in order that she might have him under her thumb - but, by the Lord Harry, he would have no more humbug - seized a glass in one hand and the bottle in the other, and never rested till he had drunk it dry.
The engagement which you were eager to form a fortnight ago is no longer compatible with your views, and I rejoice to find that the prudent advice of your parents has not been given in vain.
Goad on your bullocks, and never more pray to me for help, until you have done your best to help yourself, or depend upon it you will henceforth pray in vain.
A JUDGE who had for years looked in vain for an opportunity for infamous distinction, but whom no litigant thought worth bribing, sat one day upon the Bench, lamenting his hard lot, and threatening to put an end to his life if business did not improve.