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Definition of vain:

  • (adjective) characteristic of false pride; having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • (adjective) unproductive of success

Sentence Examples:

Prayers, entreaties, were all in vain; I could not share his fate.

Tact availed him nothing, flattery was futile and diplomacy was in vain.

Louis von Beethoven solicited the hand of the latter, but in vain.

What selfishness was that; what a confession of idleness and vain folly!

It was in vain; she could not rouse her from her torpor.

The suppliant knows he asks in vain, Vain every word that's spoken.

With a vain sigh she went on rinsing the glasses and coffee-cups.

The Countess was vain and miserly, and often looked over her jewelry.

In vain have I repeated to myself that my mother died before the ferret.

Nothing, except my disappointment at having loved a vain and heartless imbecile.

Clam-carts are stronger than trotting-wagons, and even her efforts had been vain.

I think I am vain enough to think I read through blinds and shutters.

Spring, with its showers and budding trees, beckons to us in vain.

Emerging refreshed, but confused, they attempted in vain to renew the onset.

How vain and impotent is party rage, directed against such a man!

And he believed me, and assaulted the ramparts three times in vain.

The general was seeking in vain to extricate himself from his difficulties.

I believe she's vain as a peacock now, without anything to be vain of.

He renewed the attempt to unearth his rival, but all in vain.

He renewed the attempt to unearth his rival, but all in vain.

The timid tongue falters, and the thoughts struggle in vain for utterance.

The Turk is vain and self-centered, and consequently most susceptible to flattery.

It appears, however, that his arguments, explanations, and remonstrances were in vain.

The childlike fondling of the beautiful countess was now lavished in vain.

The postmaster had applied to Madrid for a supply but in vain.

Henceforward I felt that my drawing lessons were not given in vain.

It would be vain for him to decline to believe in such a taint.

Eagerly he scrutinized the tops of the two buttes, but in vain.

Vernon, however, went over the tower, and searched every nook in vain.

I have combed my memory in vain to match it from an American pen.

He was, as his diary shows, vain, fickle, ambitious, servile, and corrupt.

It is in vain we pore over the ciphers unless we possess the key.

The general was seeking in vain to extricate himself from his difficulties.

How vain and impotent is party rage, directed against such a man!

He reproved her optimism in vain; for was he not its embodiment?

In vain, their assumptions have been repeatedly demolished and their deductions refuted.

Furthermore, the gritty old sportsman was too vain to admit the truth.

With this impossible problem our law-givers wrestled for a century in vain.

The old lady was flushed, and foolishly eager over this vain ambition.

The beholder waited for this promised heavenly smile, but waited in vain.

To this Rizal demurred, but after a vain protest, affixed his signature.

It would be in vain to recapitulate the ideas which chased one another along.

Not in vain, not in vain, does he live whose course is so befriended.

In vain Mavis urged the claims of Latin verbs and Shakespeare recitation.

Vain indeed were the efforts of a single arm, in so general a defection.

The wretched woman feigned a slumber which she had in vain courted.

Already had her affectionate husband attempted, in vain, to sooth her grief.

Yet the bedclothes heaved with his vain efforts just to keep on breathing.

Laws made against exportation of money or bullion will be all in vain.

In vain had he sought to develop one by his own ferreting genius.

We shall search Swift's work in vain for examples of pathos or sublimity.

A billiard player, a shallow fellow, vain of his conquests over silly women.

Forgive a sailor's frankness, and a sailor's interest, even if bestowed in vain.

His warning voice can never be heard in vain by the American people.

He looked in vain for the sheriff; evidently, this was an independent posse.

He realized it: he gnawed his nails, and exhausted himself in vain efforts.

My General descends to the outer staircase; and harangues: once more in vain.

In vain the attendants lashed and goaded the dying horses in the arena.

And he went off again, hysterically, trying in vain to stop the fit.

For vegetables, too, our livers waxed torpid, and our blood boiled in vain.

He knew him to be vain, intractable, small-minded and abnormally ambitious of power.

Have I been impudent and stubborn, vain about my dress, and the like?

"It is enough," replied the chief, seeking in vain to hide his chagrin.

The annals of past ages may be searched in vain for her parallel.

In vain were offers of reward multiplied; nor bribe nor entreaty could avail.

It was in vain to try to carry the rampart by the bayonet.

I beat in vain against the solid walls of obstinate prejudice and superficiality.

The annals of all nations may be searched in vain for a parallel.

That scoundrel is not an impossible caricature of an obstinate, vain, cruel libertine.

In vain the great scout endeavored to wrench himself free from the fire-stake.

Frank made a struggle to wrench himself free, but it was in vain.

"Nothing more than an idle, wanton intrigue with a foolish, vain country girl?"

The same tendency is also illustrated by the vain re-iterations of ordinary speakers.

The princes and chieftains of Erin in vain sought her hand in marriage.

Often, but in vain, I have remonstrated with him as to his conduct.

In vain did the moose attempt to insert his head between the trees.

Nurse tried in vain to pacify her; Betty was too over-wrought to listen.

In vain did the Inquisitor of the Faith strive to shake his constancy.

In vain Harry entreated him to remain till the rain had altogether ceased.

It was in vain that he blew out the taper and lay down.

He tries in vain to say all this in his soft, indistinct speech.

In vain both ecclesiastical and civil authorities were invoked to crush the heresy.

Among them were two children trying in vain to recapture a stray camel.

After several vain attempts, I succeeded in detaining one of these persons momentarily.

Wolf in vain argued that the reversion was not a subject for negotiation.

She rushed recklessly into conversation in order to avoid this, but in vain.

The princes and chieftains of Erin in vain sought her hand in marriage.

I found it in vain to question him, and I suspect it is a hoax.

It is in vain so far as the world is concerned; no admonition will avail.

Is it some other vain, brilliant, beautiful temple of soul-staining amusement and hilarity?

We may search the whole annals of marriage in vain for such another.

It is quite in vain to appeal to this passage in favor of socialistic theories.

It was in vain; the courage of the besieged increased with the danger.

Beatrice had enjoined him with unnecessary and vain repetition to watch her sister.

To-night passionate appeals and the melody of the lute were sought in vain.

In vain have the best marksmen of the tribe tried to shoot it.

In vain was all remonstrance on the part of the wife and daughter.

Thus is the modicum of strength of her decline exhausted in vain labors.

Many sheets were scrawled over in vain; I could think of nothing else.

Sunday was one long monotony, made up of vain watching and restless contemplation.