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How to pronounce vanity (audio)


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Dictionary definition of vanity

An excessive preoccupation with one's appearance, abilities, or self-worth, often accompanied by a desire for admiration and validation from others.
"His vanity was evident in the way he constantly checked his appearance in the mirror."

Detailed meaning of vanity

Vanity manifests as a fixation on one's physical appearance, achievements, or status, often driven by a deep-seated need for approval and attention. It involves an overemphasis on outward appearances, material possessions, or personal accomplishments, often at the expense of more meaningful values or connections. Vanity can lead to superficiality, self-absorption, or a sense of superiority, and it can detract from genuine self-esteem and healthy self-worth. In a broader sense, "vanity" also represents the quality or state of being futile, worthless, or lacking substance, highlighting the ephemeral and superficial nature of certain pursuits or values.

Example sentences containing vanity

1. Her vanity led her to spend hours perfecting her makeup.
2. He was known for his excessive vanity, always admiring himself in the mirror.
3. The actress's vanity made her unwilling to take on roles that weren't glamorous.
4. His vanity prevented him from admitting when he was wrong.
5. The fashion industry often feeds into people's vanity by promoting unrealistic beauty standards.
6. Her vanity caused her to constantly seek validation from others.

History and etymology of vanity

The noun 'vanity' finds its etymological origins in Latin, specifically in the word 'vanitas,' which means 'emptiness' or 'futility.' In English, it took on its current sense of an excessive preoccupation with one's appearance, abilities, or self-worth, often accompanied by a desire for admiration and validation from others. This evolution reflects the idea that a focus on external appearances or superficial qualities can be seen as empty or futile in the grander scheme of life. 'Vanity' encompasses not only a fixation on physical beauty but also a broader sense of self-importance and a craving for external validation, making it a term used to critique individuals who prioritize surface-level concerns over deeper, more meaningful values and qualities.

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Further usage examples of vanity

1. The politician's vanity overshadowed his genuine intentions.
2. The designer's work was driven by his vanity, seeking recognition above all else.
3. Dealing with someone's vanity can be challenging, as they may be self-absorbed.
4. The advertisement played on people's vanity by promising a youthful appearance.
5. His vanity was evident in the way he flaunted his expensive possessions.
6. The celebrity's vanity led to an obsession with maintaining a flawless image.
7. The author's vanity prevented them from accepting constructive criticism.
8. The magazine article explored the impact of societal vanity on self-esteem.
9. Her vanity caused her to compete with others for attention and admiration.
10. The vanity of social media often masks the realities of people's lives.
11. His vanity made it difficult for him to form meaningful relationships.
12. The businessman's vanity drove him to acquire extravagant assets.
13. The film depicted the destructive consequences of vanity and narcissism.
14. The therapist worked with clients struggling with self-esteem issues related to vanity.



self-admiration, humility, modesty, selflessness


GRE 2 (Graduate Record Examination), Abundance and Excess, Illusion and Insincerity, Insight and Intrigue, Enjoyment and Delight, Arrogance and Selfishness

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