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4 definitions found

From: DICT.TW English-Chinese Dictionary 英漢字典

 vain /ˈven/

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Vain a. [Compar. Vainer superl. Vainest.]
 1. Having no real substance, value, or importance; empty; void; worthless; unsatisfying. “Thy vain excuse.”
    Every man walketh in a vain show.   --Ps. xxxix. 6.
    Let no man deceive you with vain words.   --Eph. v. 6.
    Vain pomp, and glory of this world, I hate ye!   --Shak.
    Vain wisdom all, and false philosophy.   --Milton.
 2. Destitute of force 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.   --Pope.
 Syn: -- Empty; worthless; fruitless; ineffectual; idle; unreal; shadowy; showy; ostentatious; light; inconstant; deceitful; delusive; unimportant; trifling.

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 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. In vain doth valor bleed.” --Milton. In vain they do worship me.” --Matt. xv. 9.
 To take the name of God in vain, to use the name of God with levity or profaneness.

From: WordNet (r) 2.0

      adj 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" [syn: conceited, egotistic, egotistical,
              self-conceited, swollen, swollen-headed]
      2: unproductive of success; "a fruitless search"; "futile years
         after her artistic peak"; "a sleeveless errand"; "a vain
         attempt" [syn: bootless, fruitless, futile, sleeveless]