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English Dictionary: vain by the DICT Development Group
3 results for vain
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:
  1. 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"
    Synonym(s): conceited, egotistic, egotistical, self- conceited, swollen, swollen-headed, vain
  2. unproductive of success; "a fruitless search"; "futile years after her artistic peak"; "a sleeveless errand"; "a vain attempt"
    Synonym(s): bootless, fruitless, futile, sleeveless, vain
From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) [web1913]:
   Vain \Vain\, a. [Compar. {Vainer}; superl. {Vainest}.] [F. vain,
      L. vanus empty, void, vain. Cf. {Vanish}, {Vanity}, {Vaunt}
      to boast.]
      1. Having no real substance, value, or importance; empty;
            void; worthless; unsatisfying. [bd]Thy vain excuse.[b8]
                     Every man walketh in a vain show.      --Ps. xxxix.
                     Let no man deceive you with vain words. --Eph. v. 6.
                     Vain pomp, and glory of this world, I hate ye!
                     Vain visdom all, and false philosophy. --Milton.
      2. Destitute of forge or efficacy; effecting no purpose;
            fruitless; ineffectual; as, vain toil; a vain attempt.
                     Bring no more vain oblations.            --Isa. i. 13.
                     Vain is the force of man To crush the pillars which
                     the pile sustain.                              --Dryden.
      3. Proud of petty things, or of trifling attainments; having
            a high opinion of one's own accomplishments with slight
            reason; conceited; puffed up; inflated.
                     But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith apart
                     from works is barren?                        --James ii. 20
                                                                              (Rev. Ver.).
                     The minstrels played on every side, Vain of their
                     art.                                                   --Dryden.
      4. Showy; ostentatious.
                     Load some vain church with old theatric state.
      Syn: Empty; worthless; fruitless; ineffectual; idle; unreal;
               shadowy; showy; ostentatious; light; inconstant;
               deceitful; delusive; unimportant; trifling.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) [web1913]:
   Vain \Vain\, n.
      Vanity; emptiness; -- now used only in the phrase in vain.
      {For vain}. See {In vain}. [Obs.] --Shak.
      {In vain}, to no purpose; without effect; ineffectually. [bd]
            In vain doth valor bleed.[b8] --Milton. [bd] In vain they
            do worship me.[b8] --Matt. xv. 9.
      {To take the name of God in vain}, to use the name of God
            with levity or profaneness.
No guarantee of accuracy or completeness!
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