Definition of "vain" [vain]

  • Not yielding the desired outcome; fruitless: a vain attempt. (adjective)
  • Lacking substance or worth: vain talk. (adjective)
  • Excessively proud of one's appearance or accomplishments; conceited. (adjective)
  • Archaic Foolish. (adjective)
  • In vain To no avail; without success: Our labor was in vain. (idiom)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "vain" in a sentence
  • "_Then I said, I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for naught, and in vain_."
  • "For people that claim to know God I hope you know that taking the name of God in vain is sin."
  • "So quoting the taking of the Lord's name in vain is okay in movie reviews, but hell is off-limits."