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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 ?
In Cooley's (2013) creative work, it is suggested that the story was meant "to teach girls to avoid their vainness, to cover up on sleigh rides at night." The unclothed Frozen Charlotte dolls enabled young women to learn about the virtues of modesty by learning to sew and produce garments for their dolls.
(Bachman) Via both narrative and stylistic options, Allen's most recent films addresses his typical notions and symbolic representations, being mannered assessments of the filmmaking process, implying both the vainness of recollecting and the unfeasibility of not doing that.
I guess even the little furry one's vainness has to be indulged.