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From Middle English waynglori (worthless glory), from Old French vaine glorie, from Medieval Latin vāna glōria, from Latin vāna (empty, groundless, boastful) + glōria (fame, ambition, boasting), apparently modelled after similar terms in Germanic languages. Compare Old English īdel wuldor (vain glory) and īdelġielp (vainglory).


  • Hyphenation: vain‧glo‧ry


vainglory (countable and uncountable, plural vainglories)

  1. Excessive vanity.
  2. Boastful, unwarranted pride in one's accomplishments or qualities.
  3. Vain, ostentatious display.
    • 1863, Sheridan Le Fanu, The House by the Churchyard
      The pew would soon want new flooring, Mr. Dangerfield thought, and the Castlemallard arms and supporters, a rather dingy piece of vainglory, overhanging the main seat on the wall, would be nothing the worse of a little fresh gilding and paint.
  4. A regarding of oneself with undue favor.

Derived terms[edit]


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vainglory (third-person singular simple present vainglories, present participle vainglorying, simple past and past participle vaingloried)

  1. (intransitive) To boast; to act in a vain manner.