vain

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See also: väin and VAIN

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

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.
    • 1959, Leo Rosten, The return of H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N
      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
    • 1697, “(please specify the book number)”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], OCLC 403869432:
      Vain is the force of man / To crush the pillars which the pile sustain.
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 6, in 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.
    • 1731, Alexander Pope, Epistle to Burlington:
      Load some vain church with old theatric state.

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Dalmatian[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin vīnum. Compare Istriot veîn.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

vain m

  1. wine

Finnish[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

  • vaan (colloquial, all senses; also has other non-colloquial meanings)

Etymology[edit]

Probably an old instructive plural of vajaa. Cognate with Estonian vaid.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈʋɑi̯n/, [ˈʋɑi̯n]
  • Rhymes: -ɑin
  • Syllabification: vain

Adverb[edit]

vain

  1. only, merely, exclusively, solely, just
  2. ever (when used with an interrogative pronoun)
    mikä vain, milloin vain (whenever)
    Synonym: tahansa
  3. An emphatic word used with the negative verb and -kö.
    Kävit siellä, etkö vain?
    You went there, didn't you?
    Tämä on se, eikö vain?
    This is it, right?
  4. (with a verb in imperative) go ahead, be my guest
    "Saanko syödä viimeisen suklaapalan?" "Syö vain."
    "May I eat the last piece of chocolate?" "Go ahead (and eat it)."
    Synonyms: sen kuin, sen kun

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French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old French vain, from Latin vānus, from Proto-Indo-European *h₁weh₂- (empty).

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

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

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

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Norman[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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

Adjective[edit]

vain m

  1. (Jersey) vain

Derived terms[edit]