vain


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take (one's) name in vain

To speak about someone when they are not present, as in a critical manner. The phrase comes from one of the Ten Commandments, which prohibits taking God's name in vain. Hey, I heard that! Don't take my name in vain!
See also: name, take, vain

in vain

1. adjective Without success; futile. I tried to convince the other board members, but my efforts were in vain, and they outvoted me.
2. adverb Without success; futilely. I tried in vain to convince the other board members, and they outvoted me.
See also: vain

in vain

for no purpose; [done] as a failure. They rushed her to the hospital, but they did it in vain. We tried in vain to get her there on time.
See also: vain

*proud as a peacock

 and *vain as a peacock
overly proud; vain. (*Also: as ~.) Mike's been strutting around proud as a peacock since he won that award. I sometimes think Elizabeth must spend all day admiring herself in a mirror. She's as vain as a peacock.
See also: proud

in vain

To no avail, useless, as in All our work was in vain. [c. 1300] Also see take someone's name in vain.
See also: vain

proud as a peacock

Having a very high opinion of oneself, filled with or showing excessive self-esteem. For example, She strutted about in her new outfit, proud as a peacock. This simile alludes to the male peacock, with its colorful tail that can be expanded like a fan, which has long symbolized vanity and pride. Chaucer used it in The Reeve's Tail: "As any peacock he was proud and gay." [1200s]
See also: proud

take someone's name in vain

Speak casually or idly of someone, as in There he goes, taking my name in vain again. This idiom originated as a translation from the Latin of the Vulgate Bible (Exodus 20:7), "to take God's name in vain," and for a time was used only to denote blasphemy and profanity. In the early 1700s it began to be used more loosely as well.
See also: name, take, vain

take someone's name in vain

1. If someone takes God's name in vain, they say `God' in an expression that is disrespectful, often when they are swearing. He did his best with us, always gently correcting us when we took the Lord's name in vain.
2. If someone takes another person's name in vain they say their name in a way that is disrespectful. `Somebody taking my name in vain?' Nordhoff called over his shoulder. Note: This is from the second of the Ten Commandments in the Bible: `Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.' (Exodus 20:7)
See also: name, take, vain

take someone's name in vain

use someone's name in a way that shows a lack of respect.
The third of the biblical Ten Commandments is: ‘Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain’ (Exodus 20:7).
See also: name, take, vain

take somebody’s name in ˈvain

show a lack of respect when using somebody’s name: I get very upset when people take God’s name in vain. ♢ (humorous) Have you been taking my name in vain again?This expression comes from the Bible.
See also: name, take, vain

in ˈvain

without success: They tried in vain to persuade her to go.All our efforts were in vain.
See also: vain

in vain

1. To no avail; without success: Our labor was in vain.
2. In an irreverent or disrespectful manner: took the Lord's name in vain.
See also: vain
References in periodicals archive ?
The histologic specimens (Figure 4) were interpreted as VAIN III with condylomatous changes that correlated with the cytology report and colposcopic evaluation.
A rising star in play-by-play commentary with many international matches to his credit, Bruno Vain joins Enrique Borja, the beloved Mexican hero of the 1966 and 1970 World Cups, a star of both UNAM Pumas and Club America in the Mexican Soccer League, and former president of the Federacion Mexicana de Futbol.
I don't mean to sound vain but I've been paid for the way I look for so long and that's pretty lucky.
The answer is on the new version of You're So Vain.
X Factor's Dannii Minogue and Louis Walsh, Britain's Got Talent's Amanda Holden and US X Factor's Randy Jackson all sang You're So Vain.
Nor shall go in vain the sacrifices of all those who were martyred in Islamabad on July 17, 2007 when a suicide bomber attacked a PPP camp, on October 19, 2007 when the welcome convoy of Shaheed Mohtarma Bhutto was attacked in Karachi and on December 27, 2007 in Rawalpindi to recall only few from the litany of sacrifices of the party workers, he added.
It seemed that all our good intentions to invite all people to church were now in vain.
Neighbours had already tried in vain to reach Mr Campbell but were driven back by the intense fire and smoke.
The third Commandment is unequivocal when it says: ``You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his Name in vain.
Just don't let the people who have volunteered their time feel like it was all done in vain.
IT must be all the hair dye that's addled his brain, but the increasingly vain Paul McCartney has turned down a Lifetime Achievement Award because he says accepting it would be tantamount to admitting his career was over.
In this confectioner's edition of the story, however, Karl Lagerfeld sets the vain emperor back onto his tottering feet with urbane and splendidly insouciant illustrations that evoke the bustle and the insipidities of courtly life around the turn of the 18th century, even as they recall Warhol's 1950s commercial work.
Approximately 15 to 20 of our clients died while they waited in vain.
To be fair, Brand is the first to acknowledge how vain he is, but his ego is so out of control that it's almost beyond his power to stop himself hogging the limelight.
FIVE men tried in vain to save another man's life when a fire engulfed their bungalow yesterday.