vain

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See also: väin and VAIN

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English, borrowed 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.
    • (Can we date this quote by Leo Rosten and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      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
    • (Can we date this quote by John Dryden and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Vain is the force of man / To crush the pillars which the pile sustain.
    • (Can we date this quote by William of Occam and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      It is vain to do with more what can be done with fewer.
    • 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; also has other non-colloqial meanings)

Etymology[edit]

Cognate with vaan, Estonian vaid. Probably from va +‎ -in or earlier equivalent.

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?

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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]