Adjective "vain" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Having or showing an excessively high opinion of one's appearance, abilities, or worth.
  1. 'a vain woman with a streak of snobbery'
  2. 'Possessive, vain and self-absorbed, she stifled him until, he said, he could no longer stand women.'
  3. 'She's a shallow, vain, self-centered woman who is going to crash and burn at a very early age.'
  4. 'Elizabeth, vain and proud about her legendary beauty, was convinced she'd found the secret of youth.'
  5. 'They all agree he is arrogant and selfish and vain.'
  6. 'Aside from being a known womanizer, he was known to be a very vain and arrogant man.'
  7. 'And don't be too vain to ask for help along the way.'
  8. 'He didn't look like he was bothered by all the attention, but he wasn't vain or self-centered either.'
  9. 'She hated herself for being so vain and conceited.'
  10. 'He was so vain, he would change his clothes three times a day.'
  11. 'Not to sound vain, but I looked really hot.'
Producing no result; useless.
  1. 'the vain hope of finding work'
  2. 'A surfer who braved 20 ft waves in a vain attempt to help rescue a mother and her children from seas off Scarborough said yesterday there was no safety equipment in the area.'
  3. 'A couple of Italian wine bottles and maps of the Old Country had been scattered over the walls in a vain attempt to give the place, formerly a steak restaurant, a Mediterranean feel.'
  4. 'The interviewer, in a vain attempt to give St Clair another opportunity to repair the damage done by his earlier answer, rephrased the question.'
  5. 'The way he's overcome adversity has been a real inspiration - and in a vain attempt to copy him I'm following his training programme as I prepare for my first duathlon.'
  6. 'As I stood outside the store, battered by the merciless, penetrating wind, I was reminded of days when I'd wear two pairs of pyjamas under my uniform in a vain attempt to keep warm.'
  7. 'They fought off their own hidden preferences and opinions in a vain struggle to be identical with everyone else; to ‘fit’.'
  8. 'I walked up and down Tottenhan Court Road with Mark at lunchtime in a vain attempt to stave off unconsciousness.'
  9. 'So this afternoon will see me making another disconsolate tour of the shops, in the vain hope of finding a pair of shoes that is both elegant and comfortable.'
  10. 'Many of us seem to entertain the vain hope that ignorance will confer innocence, that by denying the consequences of our complicity, it will be as if it never happened.'
  11. 'We took to channel hopping in the vain hope that something remotely interesting would catch our attention.'
  12. 'This turn of events, this sad return after so many vain boasts, would have made a shamed recluse out of a normal human being.'
  13. 'It's not a vain boast on the evidence of this season.'


1. excessively proud of or concerned about one's own appearance, qualities, achievements, etc.; conceited: a vain dandy.

2. proceeding from or showing pride in or concern about one's appearance, qualities, etc.; resulting from or displaying vanity: He made some vain remarks about his accomplishments.

3. ineffectual or unsuccessful; futile: vain hopes; a vain effort; a vain war.

4. without real significance, value, or importance; baseless or worthless: vai

More examples(as adjective)

"shorts can be vain for sensitivities."

"shorts can be vain for insights."

"people can be vain in beds."

"people can be vain by natures."

"people can be vain about reputations."

More examples++


Middle English (in the sense ‘devoid of real worth’): via Old French from Latin vanus ‘empty, without substance’.


in vain
take someone's name in vain