in vain

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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Pronunciation[edit]

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Adverb[edit]

in vain (comparative more in vain, superlative most in vain)

  1. (idiomatic) Without success or a result; ending in failure.
    • 1863 November 19, Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address, based on the signed "Bliss Copy"
      we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain
    • 19C, Friedrich Nietzsche
      On the mountains of truth you can never climb in vain.
    • 1956 [1880], Johanna Spyri, Heidi, translation of original by Eileen Hall, page 46:
      For some time Grannie tried in vain to comfort her.
  2. (idiomatic) In a disrespectful manner, especially when concerning religion.

Translations[edit]

Adjective[edit]

in vain (comparative more in vain, superlative most in vain)

  1. (idiomatic) Unsuccessful, failed.