Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

vain

 - definition
 
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
adjective vain pronunciation in American English /veɪn/ 
Word Forms
Close
adjectivevain
comparativevainer
superlativevainest
  1. 1
    showing disapproval someone who is vain is very proud and thinks they are very attractive or special

    He was vain about his looks, spending hours in the gym.

  2. 2
    unsuccessful, or useless
    a vain attempt/bid/effort:

    They made a vain attempt to protect the town from attack.

    vain hope:

    He underwent a knee operation in the vain hope of getting into the team.

phrases

derived word

vainly

adverb

creep

used with other nouns to describe the unexpected and often unwanted effects of a particular situation or trend

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

sandwich woman

a woman in middle age who has to juggle caring for teenage children and ageing parents with a career

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog