Definitions of vain

  1. unproductive of success; " a fruitless search"; " futile years after her artistic peak"; " a sleeveless errand"; " a vain attempt"
  2. characteristic of false pride; having an exaggerated sense of self- importance; " a conceited fool"; " an attitude of self- conceited arrogance"; " an egotistical disregard of others"; " so swollen by victory that he was unfit for normal duty"; " growing ever more swollen- headed and arbitrary"; " vain about her clothes"
  3. Showy; ostentatious.
  4. Destitute of forge or efficacy; effecting no purpose; fruitless; ineffectual; as, vain toil; a vain attempt.
  5. Proud of petty things, or of trifling attainments; having a high opinion of one's own accomplishments with slight reason; conceited; puffed up; inflated.
  6. Having no real substance, value, or importance; empty; void; worthless; unsatisfying.
  7. Vanity; emptiness; - now used only in the phrase in vain.
  8. Valueless; empty; trifling; as, vain words; without force or effect useless; as, rain efforts; proud of small accomplishments or of personal appearance; conceited; as, a vain person; showy: in vain, without success.
  9. Vainly.
  10. Vainest.
  11. Unsatisfying: fruitless: unreal: conceited: showy: vacant, worthless, so in B.
  12. Fruitless; ineffectual; conceited; showy.
  13. Empty; unreal; ineffectual; fruitless.
  14. Vainness.
  15. Empty; worthless; having no substance, value or importance; fruitless; ineffectual; proud of trifling attainments; conceited; unreal; ostentatious; inconstant; unsatisfying; deceitful; having no efficacy. In vain, to no purpose; with levity or profaneness.
  16. Proud of trifling attainments; having an unduly high opinion of one's own accomplishments; ineffectual; fruitless, as an effort; unsatisfying.

Usage examples for vain

  1. In vain she angrily told herself that it only needed common sense. – His Second Wife by Ernest Poole
  2. Expostulations were in vain. – Worldly Ways and Byways by Eliot Gregory
  3. And if he were to take this situation in the country- Heaven only knew where- she would come to seek him in vain, and would go empty away. – Anthony Lyveden by Dornford Yates
  4. But search him as they would- it was in vain. – The Bat by Avery Hopwood Mary Roberts Rinehart
  5. How vain are men to wish! – Vikram-and-the-Vampire-Classic-Hindu-Tales-of-Adventure-Magic-and-Romance by Burton, Isabel, Lady
  6. The good man tried in vain to make out what was the matter and what had happened. – The Good Comrade by Una L. Silberrad
  7. It is in vain,- it is too late. – Zanoni by Edward Bulwer Lytton
  8. Forget this vain dream- return to the army. – Calderon The Courtier A Tale by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  9. But it was all vain and foolish. – Four Weird Tales by Algernon Blackwood
  10. That was all; there it stopped; and vain were all their listenings to catch another note. – Aikenside by Mary J. Holmes
  11. She has waited for it in vain. – The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters by George Sand, Gustave Flaubert Translated by A.L. McKensie
  12. So abroad with my wife by coach to St. James's, to one Lady Poultny's, where I found my Lord, I doubt, at some vain pleasure or other. – Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete Transcribed From The Shorthand Manuscript In The Pepysian Library Magdalene College Cambridge By The Rev. Mynors Bright by Samuel Pepys Commentator: Lord Braybrooke
  13. And this time not in vain. – Six Feet Four by Jackson Gregory
  14. I'm not as vain as a girl. – The Princess Passes by Alice Muriel Williamson and Charles Norris Williamson
  15. It was a vain hope that, however. – Cleek: the Man of the Forty Faces by Thomas W. Hanshew
  16. But he looked in vain! – Northland Heroes by Florence Holbrook
  17. In vain Tommy begged him to come, too. – Frank of Freedom Hill by Samuel A. Derieux
  18. It was however all in vain. – Christmas Stories by Edward Berens
  19. If not, his journey was vain. – Round the World in Seven Days by Herbert Strang