Adjective > Vain

Adjective – Vain

1 : (also more vain; most vain) : too proud of your own appearance, abilities, achievements, etc. : CONCEITED

She is very vain about her appearance.

He is the vainest man I know.

2 : having no success : not producing a desired result

They made a vain (=unsuccessful) attempt to escape.

A vain effort to quell the public’s fears only made matters worse.

Volunteers searched the area in the vain hope of finding clues.

in vain

without success : without producing a good or desired result

We searched in vain for the missing earring. (=we searched for the missing earring but did not find it)

He tried in vain to get the baby to sleep.

Her suffering will not be in vain. (=something good will happen because of her suffering)

take someone’s name in vain

to use (a name, especially the name of God) in a way that does not show proper respect

He took God’s name in vain.

(humorous) I thought I heard someone taking my name in vain. (=saying my name)

vainly adverb

We tried vainly to get a taxi.

Volunteers vainly searched for clues.