vain


vain
adjective
1 someone who is vain is very proud of their good looks, abilities, or position; conceited
2 in vain without success in spite of your efforts: I tried in vain to get Sue to come with us.
3 vain attempt/hope/effort etc an attempt, hope etc that fails to achieve the result you wanted
4 vain threat/promise etc literary a threat, promise etc that is not worrying because the person cannot do what they say they will
5 take sb's name in vain humorous to talk about someone, while they are not there, especially in a way that shows a lack of respect for them
6 take the Lord's name in vain old use to swear using the words `God', `Jesus' etc
— vainly adverb: The instructor struggled vainly to open his parachute. —see also: vanity

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

Synonyms:

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  • vain — vain …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • vain — vain, vaine [ vɛ̃, vɛn ] adj. • déb. XIIe; lat. vanus 1 ♦ Vx Vide. « De vains tombeaux » (P. Corneille) :des cénotaphes. Mod. Vaine pâture. 2 ♦ Vieilli Qui est sans consistance, sans réalité. ⇒ irréel. « Nous sommes abusés par de vaines images »… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • vain — vain, aine (vin, vè n ) adj. 1°   Proprement, vide, ce qui est le sens étymologique conservé seulement dans les locutions suivantes : vaine pâture, terres où il n y a ni semences, ni fruits, et, par suite, où tous les habitants d une commune… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Vain — Vain, a. [Compar. {Vainer}; superl. {Vainest}.] [F. vain, L. vanus empty, void, vain. Cf. {Vanish}, {Vanity}, {Vaunt} to boast.] [1913 Webster] 1. Having no real substance, value, or importance; empty; void; worthless; unsatisfying. Thy vain… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • vain — VAIN, [v]aine. adj. Inutile, Qui ne produit rien. Faire de vains efforts. toutes ses sollicitations ont esté vaines. On appelle, Terres vaines & vagues, Des terres inutiles, incultes, qui ne produisent rien, & qui ne sont reclamées de personne.… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • vain — [veın] adj [Date: 1300 1400; : Old French; Origin: Latin vanus empty, vain ] 1.) someone who is vain is too proud of their good looks, abilities, or position used to show disapproval = ↑conceited ▪ Men can be just as vain as women. see usage note …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • vain — [ veın ] adjective * 1. ) someone who is vain is very proud and thinks they are very attractive or special: CONCEITED: He was vain about his looks, spending hours in the gym. 2. ) unsuccessful or useless: a vain attempt/bid/effort: They made a… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Vain — Vain, n. Vanity; emptiness; now used only in the phrase in vain. [1913 Webster] {For vain}. See {In vain}. [Obs.] Shak. {In vain}, to no purpose; without effect; ineffectually. In vain doth valor bleed. Milton. In vain they do worship me. Matt.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Vain — Datos generales Nacimiento 1986 Origen San Francisco …   Wikipedia Español

  • vain (en) — ⇒VAIN (EN), loc. adv. A. Sans résultat, sans utilité, pour rien. Synon. inutilement. C est en vain que vous prétendez soumettre les gouvernements à la volonté générale. Ce sont toujours eux qui dictent cette volonté, et toutes les précautions… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • vain — [vān] adj. [OFr < L vanus, empty, vain: see WANT] 1. having no real value or significance; worthless, empty, idle, hollow, etc. [vain pomp] 2. without force or effect; futile, fruitless, unprofitable, unavailing, etc. [a vain endeavor] 3.… …   English World dictionary