vain definition, vain meaning | English dictionary

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1    inordinately proud of one's appearance, possessions, or achievements  
2    given to ostentatious display, esp. of one's beauty  
3    worthless  
4    senseless or futile  
5    in vain   to no avail; fruitlessly  
6    take someone's name in vain  
a    to use the name of someone, esp. God, without due respect or reverence  
b    Jocular   to mention someone's name  
     (C13: via Old French from Latin vanus)  
  vainly      adv  
  vainness      n  
English Collins Dictionary - English Definition & Thesaurus  


1    arrogant, bigheaded     (informal)   cocky, conceited, egotistical, inflated, narcissistic, ostentatious, overweening, peacockish, pleased with oneself, proud, self-important, stuck-up     (informal)   swaggering, swanky     (informal)   swollen-headed     (informal)   vainglorious  
2    abortive, empty, fruitless, futile, hollow, idle, nugatory, pointless, senseless, time-wasting, trifling, trivial, unavailing, unimportant, unproductive, unprofitable, useless, wanky     (taboo slang)   worthless  
3    be vain      have a high opinion of oneself, have a swelled head     (informal)   have one's head turned, think a lot of oneself, think oneself it     (informal)   think oneself the cat's whiskers or pyjamas     (slang)  
4    in vain      bootless, fruitless(ly), ineffectual(ly), to no avail, to no purpose, unsuccessful(ly), useless(ly), vain(ly), wasted, without success  
1    bashful, humble, meek, modest, self-deprecating  
2    fruitful, profitable, serious, successful, useful, valid, worthwhile, worthy  

English Collins Dictionary - English synonyms & Thesaurus  

vain adj.
the quality of something that fails to achieve what was intended; useless

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