Definition of vanity in English:

vanity

noun

  • 1[mass noun] Excessive pride in or admiration of one's own appearance or achievements.

    ‘it flattered his vanity to think I was in love with him’
    [count noun] ‘the vanities and ambitions of politicians’
    • ‘I'm glad now that I had a strict Jesuit education and upbringing, including all the nagging neuroses about self-control and vanity.’
    • ‘But his vanity, pettiness and egocentrism exasperated even his closest friends.’
    • ‘Once their pride and vanity has been wounded it takes a long time to recover.’
    • ‘So many members thanked and praised me, and it satisfied my vanity.’
    • ‘He only ever sat for the occasional portrait and despised the excesses and vanities of his day.’
    • ‘My vanity and pride was slightly bruised, though, and that serves me right.’
    • ‘Nobody survives lying to me and betraying me just for a good headline and to feed her own vanity!’
    • ‘He was equally candid about dabbling in hard drugs, but said that his vanity and ambition prevented him from developing a full-blown heroin addiction.’
    • ‘A heart full of false pride, vanity and arrogance has no room for wisdom, so it will remain lost in the darkness.’
    • ‘Greed, envy, hatred, selfishness, vanity, and arrogance are all negative traits which must be totally eliminated.’
    • ‘How can we get free of the petty tyrannies of our own female vanity?’
    • ‘Beware of arrogance and vanity when you bask in your glory.’
    • ‘But human vanity being what it is, such logic seldom prevails.’
    • ‘While the Italians are perfectly comfortable with male vanity, the British are not.’
    • ‘He had no concern for his appearance; no personal vanity.’
    • ‘His greatest weakness may well be his seemingly fathomless personal vanity.’
    • ‘One simply did not undertake surgical procedures for vanity's sake, he was told upon his dismissal.’
    • ‘Talking to him will only flatter his vanity.’
    • ‘"Nowadays men are also indulging their vanity.’
    • ‘This is not, however, a simple tale of vanity or excessive consumption.’
    conceit, conceitedness, self-conceit, narcissism, self-love, self-admiration, self-regard, self-absorption, self-obsession, self-centredness, egotism, egoism, egocentrism, egomania
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    1. 1.1[as modifier]Denoting a person or company publishing works at the author's expense.
      ‘a vanity press’
      • ‘The real books were worth buying and reading, the self-published were from vanity presses.’
      • ‘Indeed, critical readers might suspect that the vanity press outlet was the only way these articles could get into print.’
      • ‘A vanity press is probably the only place to go if you want to write about your 28 uneventful years as a municipal clerk in Ohio.’
      • ‘I've just come across a vanity publishing firm called Blogbinders, which turns blog content into bound volumes.’
      • ‘Backroom describes itself as essentially a vanity press, only capable of publishing work with the benefit of private backing.’
      • ‘So pity the poor book reviewer, her desk piled high with vanity press or self-published dross.’
      • ‘Personally I can't get very excited about this controversy over whether PublishAmerica is a mainstream or vanity firm or something in between.’
      • ‘Even vanity publishing smacks of a certain - albeit desperate - nobility of soul.’
      • ‘Then there is the usual plethora of niche presses, ranging from outright vanity endeavours to highly respectable small publishers.’
      • ‘It's critical, in-depth and insightful, rather than just vanity publishing.’
      • ‘He lands a job editing manuscripts at a vanity publisher.’
      • ‘Research on the company's website revealed this firm to be a self-publishing, or vanity press.’
      • ‘Every now and then, a vanity press mogul makes a go of his venture.’
  • 2[mass noun] The quality of being worthless or futile.

    ‘the vanity of human wishes’
    • ‘He was reflecting, perhaps, on the vanity of human passions.’
    • ‘It is when the pilgrim throws away the rose-colored glasses of illusion and sees the vanity of all worldly preoccupation that he breaks free of their bondage.’
    • ‘The eroded head of a figure on a tombstone suggests the vanity of attempts to stem the ravages of time.’
    • ‘They might consider the bounty of the earth, in one mood, or the vanity of human wishes and desires in another.’
    • ‘He composed another poem on the vanity of worldliness.’
    futility, uselessness, pointlessness, worthlessness, purposelessness, idleness, fruitlessness, profitlessness
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  • 3North American A dressing table.

    • ‘There was a dresser, a small television, and a vanity.’
    • ‘She pictured it the way she remembered it: light purple walls with a dark purple carpet, white wicker furniture and a small vanity in the corner.’
    • ‘Instead of paint, try a colored stain to revive wood cabinets or a vanity.’
    • ‘A bar stool is used as a chair for the high vanity.’
    • ‘Small and rectangular, the chamber housed a mahogany bed, chest of drawers, washbasin and vanity.’
    • ‘Between the two beds was a creamy beige couch, and across from that, a wash basin, vanity, and wardrobe.’
    • ‘A carved vanity, made of some kind of almost white wood, was in a corner, and a large wardrobe of the same wood and design stood against another wall.’
    • ‘Upon examining the rest of the drawers, she realized it was more of a vanity than a desk.’
    • ‘My bedroom has my bed and my vanity and my bathroom connected to it.’
    • ‘Looking from her view on the bed across the way was a pretty oak vanity with a good size mirror.’
    • ‘Her oak vanity had several different types of make-up and hair supplies resting on it.’
    • ‘The larger room also has a desk which could double as a vanity unit.’
    • ‘There was a small vanity with a stool in front of it with an assortment of perfumes and make up covering the top.’
    • ‘Paige held up her hands defensively and walked over to Lee's vanity table.’
    • ‘The room was like some sort of ritzy hotel, complete with a dresser, a vanity, and a four-poster bed.’
    • ‘She rose from her stool at her vanity and hugged Michelle.’
    • ‘As Delia admires herself in her vanity table mirror, Cary decides to make a quiet escape.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French vanite, from Latin vanitas, from vanus empty (see vain).

Pronunciation:

vanity

/ˈvanɪti/