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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.
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:


1. The condition or quality of being useless or ineffective:
2. A regarding of oneself with undue favor:
Slang: ego trip.
References in periodicals archive ?
What have we learned from the global debate on the vainness of austerity and the almost-unanimous agreement that growth is the key to exiting from the present vicissitudes of the U.
Aren't 31 years long trials and errors of a few arrogant and bullying governments enough to awaken them from the ignorance sleep and make them understand vainness of their attempts to dominate Islamic Iran?
the judge that convicts vainness And frees wisdom to sculpt its own