|Origin:||Latin vanus 'empty, vain'|
someone who is vain is too proud of their good looks, abilities, or position - used to show disapproval [= conceited]: ➔ see usage note proud
Men can be just as vain as women.
without success in spite of your efforts:
Police searched in vain for the missing gunman.
without purpose or without positive results:
Altman swore that his son's death would not be in vain.
➔ take somebody's name in vainat name1 (12)
a vain attempt, hope or search fails to achieve the result you wanted
a threat, promise etc that is not worrying because the person cannot do what they say they will
—vainly adverb:WORD CHOICE:
The instructor struggled vainly to open his parachute.
proud, arrogant, conceited, big-headed, vainProud is a fairly general word used to say that someone is pleased with themselves, pleased with what they have achieved, or pleased with something or someone connected with them such as their school or their family • His proud parents watched the presentation. • I'm very proud of my students. • She was proud to be in the team.Proud is usually neither approving nor disapproving, although you can say someone is too proud, meaning that they will not admit they are wrong or need help.Arrogant is a disapproving word meaning that someone thinks they are better than other people • He was so arrogant he thought he could not possibly lose. • the arrogant way she dismisses my opinionsConceited and big-headed are disapproving words meaning that someone thinks they or their achievements are better than they really are. Conceited is fairly formal and big-headed is informal.Vain is a disapproving word meaning that someone thinks they are very special, especially because they are very proud of the way they look. ➔ See also proud