Last modified on 17 June 2014, at 04:21
See also: väin

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English, from Old French vain, from Latin vānus (empty)

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

vain (comparative vainer or more vain, superlative vainest or most vain)

  1. Overly proud of oneself, especially concerning appearance; having a high opinion of one's own accomplishments with slight reason.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Leo Rosten
      Every writer is a narcissist. This does not mean that he is vain; it only means that he is hopelessly self-absorbed.
  2. Having no real substance, value, or importance; empty; void; worthless; unsatisfying.
  3. Effecting no purpose; pointless, futile.
    vain toil;  a vain attempt
    • John Dryden (1631-1700)
      Vain is the force of man / To crush the pillars which the pile sustain.
    • (Can we date this quote?) William of Occam
      It is vain to do with more what can be done with fewer.
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 6, A Cuckoo in the Nest:
      But Sophia's mother was not the woman to brook defiance. After a few moments' vain remonstrance her husband complied. His manner and appearance were suggestive of a satiated sea-lion.
  4. Showy; ostentatious.
    • Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
      Load some vain church with old theatric state.

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FinnishEdit

AdverbEdit

vain

  1. only, merely, exclusively, solely, just
  2. ever, in the phrasal adjective mikä vain
  3. whenever, in the phrasal adjective milloin vain

Usage notesEdit

In many dialects, this word has transformed to vaan.

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FrenchEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Old French vain, from Latin vānus.

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

vain m (feminine vaine, masculine plural vains, feminine plural vaines)

  1. useless, ineffective, fruitless
  2. vain, shallow

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JèrriaisEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Old French vain, from Latin vānus (empty).

AdjectiveEdit

vain m (feminine vaine, masculine plural vains, feminine plural vaines)

  1. vain

Derived termsEdit