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Definition of vain:

  1. Destitute of forge or efficacy; effecting no purpose; fruitless; ineffectual; as, vain toil; a vain attempt.
  2. Having no real substance, value, or importance; empty; void; worthless; unsatisfying.
  3. Proud of petty things, or of trifling attainments; having a high opinion of one's own accomplishments with slight reason; conceited; puffed up; inflated.
  4. Showy; ostentatious.
  5. Vanity; emptiness; - now used only in the phrase in vain.

Synonyms:

self-loving, thrive, unreal, biggety, petty, Midland, unprofitable, bootless, overweening, hollow, null, profitless, otiose, consequential, vacant, trifling, no-good, unavailing, self-love, unsatisfying, idle, delusive, used, nugatory, superior, deceitful, proud, vapid, conceited, complacent, valueless, bigheaded, chaffy, fruitless, inconstant, ineffective, junky, unsubstantial, full, unserviceable, barren, trivial, inefficacious, patronizing, sleeveless, swollen-headed, important, unimportant, prideful, insignificant, swollen, shadowy, unproductive, stuck-up, worthless, self-opinionated, egoistical, egotistical, self-conceited, immodest, baseless, empty, visionary, frivolous, hollow, futile, egotistic.

Usage examples: