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Definition of vanity:

  • (noun) feelings of excessive pride
  • (noun) the quality of being valueless or futile;
  • (noun) the trait of being unduly vain and conceited
  • (noun) low table with mirror or mirrors where one sits while dressing or applying makeup

Sentence Examples:

The slightest interest, practically even common civility, shown him by anyone of the feminine sex between the ages of sixteen and sixty, flattered his vanity to such an extraordinary extent that he immediately thought these ladies were in love with him, and it didn't take much more for him to be in love with them.

How it would mortify my vanity, if I thought there was a woman in the world, much more this, that could hate me!

That sense of largeness came to me then, and it has come to me since, again and again, a splendid intimation or a splendid vanity.

I admired their work and devotion enormously, but I had never concealed my contempt for a certain childish vanity they displayed, and for the frequent puerility of their political intrigues.

His penetrative efficiency compelled one's admiration, and his unconcealed vanity showed that he did not stand wholly outside the human family.

With all his excesses and vanities, he was not frivolous, and seemed at an early age to be a sincere inquirer after truth.

She seldom did wrong, in her own opinion, because the moment she entertained an idea it at once became right, her vanity serving as a pair of blinders to keep her from seeing the truth.

When the balance hangs in doubt between the adventurousness of vanity and the frigidity of fear, ever incline to the latter side.

You are in error, gentlemen, you are imposing upon your vanity, it is in vain you try to put us on a false scent, that, of itself, is offensive, and you talk of sentiment as ennobling a thing that resembles it very little.

His was a tardy awakening of the fleshly instinct, a childish greed of enjoyment, which left no room for either vanity or jealousy.

None of the desires dictated by vanity is more general, or less blamable, than that of being distinguished for the arts of conversation.

Her "Souvenirs" justify the accusation of unusual vanity as the mainspring in her motives, but if it were only her passion for conquest that made her seek Liszt, she was punished bitterly.

Yet before I leave Virgil, I must own the vanity to tell you, and by you the world, that he has been my master in this poem: I have followed him everywhere, I know not with what success, but I am sure with diligence enough: my images are many of them copied from him, and the rest are imitations of him.

I was still in my scarf of office, which had been, I say it without vanity, the standard of authority and protection during all our trouble; and thus marked out as representative of all, I uncovered myself, after the ladies of my family had passed, and, without joining them, silently followed with a slow and solemn step.

She had not only to encounter the risk of arousing the anger of Henry by accusing the woman whom he loved, but also to combat his wounded vanity when he should see his somewhat mature passion made a subject of ridicule, and, at the same time, to conceal her own motive for the treachery of which she was guilty.

It concerns us therefore to consider in time that he that tempts us will accuse us, and what he calls pleasant now he shall then say was nothing, and all the gains that now invite earthly souls and mean persons to vanity, was nothing but the seeds of folly, and the harvest in pain and sorrow and shame eternal.

Leaning hands, uplifted necks, painted eyes, scarlet mouths, a piece of thigh, arched insteps, and all is blurred; vanity, animalism, indecency, absurdity, and all to be whelmed into oblivion in a moment.

He discarded the peacock's feather, as an idle vanity, and always came forth among the world arrayed in ultramarine gowns and cerulean petticoats.

Claire's invitation to be one of a distinguished group fed her vanity long after her daughter had outworn the delights of retrospection.

This satire, written in a rough unpolished manner, without art, or regular plan, contains some very bold and masculine strokes against the ridiculous vanity of valuing ourselves upon descent and pedigree.

We stopped in the woods; my feet were denuded of their commonplace attire and arrayed in white hose, beautifully clocked, and those precious slices, and my poor conscience tortured about my vanity.

Only when he rode into Jason for supplies did he wear his chaps, a bit of cowboy vanity quite pardonable in his years.

Adams's overbearing ways and obtrusive vanity, considered his policy destructive to the party and injurious to the country, and felt that loyalty to these involved and justified disloyalty to him.

In this country within a country, it is not merely required of a woman that she should satisfy the senses and the soul; she knows perfectly well that she has still greater obligations to discharge, that she must fulfil the countless demands of a vanity that enters into every fiber of that living organism called society.

Yet, under this perfunctory rebuke, his weak vanity could not be hidden, and he enjoyed the evident admiration of a creature, whom he believed to be half-witted and degraded, all the more keenly because it did not make him jealous.

They think to enjoy the pleasures which result from this source, while their vanity and ignorance prompt each one to imagine herself superior to delusion, and to anticipate the honor of reclaiming the libertine and reforming the rake.

What a change is there in the space of a few short hours; what a scene of desolation, what a lesson of the instability of sublunary things and the vanity of human grandeur!

Placing it on his head jauntily, he turned to us, saying, Adios, and went strutting down the street, the picture of gratified vanity.

At the conclusion of the duel he walked away, turning his back on his adversary, but no long time elapsed before, as minister, he was taking trouble to obtain for this man some honorific bauble which his vanity coveted.

I had no idea that there was a perfectly sensible poet in the world, entirely free from vanity, jealousy, or any other littleness, and thinking no more of himself than any ordinary man.

There is something very inspiring in the sentence, "When the learned man drives away vanity by earnestness, he, the wise, climbing the terraced heights of wisdom, looks down upon the fools: free from sorrow he looks upon the sorrowing crowd, as one that stands on a mountain looks down upon them that stand upon the plain."

I am confident that twenty persons cannot be brought together from better motives than vanity or pedantry, to talk upon such subjects as we propose, without finding in themselves great deficiencies, which they will be very desirous to supply.

Her elation came not from opium fumes of vanity, inhaled in close chambers of conceit, but from the stimulus of sunshine, fresh breezes, and swift movement upon the winged steed of poesy.

They are foolishly pandering to the vanity of the players, who as a rule have a tendency to exaggerate their importance in relation to drama.

His behavior to herself could now have had no tolerable motive; he had either been deceived with regard to her fortune, or had been gratifying his vanity by encouraging the preference which she believed she had most incautiously shown.

He is more rational in his object, which is the intelligent and intelligible object of conversion; where the modern militarist has an object much more confused by momentary vanity and one-sided satisfaction.

In some future number, too, if acceptable to your readers, you shall be furnished with a list of other and better objects of expenditure from this household book; for Sir Edward, albeit, as Clarendon depicts him, the victim of his own vanity, was worthy of better fame than is yet been his lot to acquire.

The vanity I mean, is that which, if given way to, stamps a man a coxcomb, a character he will find a difficulty to get rid of, perhaps as long as he lives.

Spy of a great imperfection in her eyes, which made her eternally rolling them from one coxcomb to another in public places, in so languishing a manner, that it at once lessened her own power, and her beholder's vanity.

Indeed, I liked the spectacle and was tickled with the old man's gravity as he presided at it, for I had none of that foolish wisdom which reproves every occupation that is not useful in this world of vanities.

We may be rudely brought back to the world with its pomp and show, its pageantry and vanity, by an emblem of mortality presented to us, but should we not ever have the specter of mortality before our eyes?

He had vanity, which strongly inclined him in the first place to think she did love him, though she might not know it herself; and which, secondly, when constrained at last to admit that she did know her own present feelings, convinced him that he should be able in time to make those feelings what he wished.

Her vanity had disgusted him, and her uncontrollable temper had embittered to its very dregs the cup of his existence.

All other so-called knowledge or understanding, save as it ministers to the framing of a true judgement concerning our present selves and our present situation and world, is but vanity or lumber, at best a rhetorical device for bringing before ourselves or others what we so judge concerning the one and the other.

He can discover whether the psyche of the individual with whom he is dealing can be influenced more strongly by logical arguments or by suggestion, and how far he may calculate on the pleasure instincts, on the excitement of emotions, on the impulse to imitate, on the natural vanity, on the desire for saving, and on the longing for luxury.

All at once vanity was born within her, and an ambition to be always thus clothed, with a horrible remembrance of the woman of the day before, who had promised to show her how to earn some pretty clothes.

He paused, staring at me dully, and then with a hint of the old ridiculous vanity entering his voice: "But I scored after all," he said, tossing the little amulet into the drawer from which he had taken it.

Suffering much by villains in the late cause, and being much concerned about the state of my soul, these things (but particularly the latter) brought me very low; so that I became a burden to myself, and viewed all things around me as emptiness and vanity, which could give no satisfaction to a troubled conscience.

Early in the morning he asked her to bring him a hand mirror and, surveying his face, tortured and disfigured by the orderly's shaving, suffered an acute wound in his vanity.

There are readers so unluckily constituted that they can see nothing in Thackeray but this bitterness, this cruel sense of meanness and power of analyzing shabby emotions, sneaking vanities, contemptible ambitions.

They feel a perpetual want of having the reality of their talents confirmed to themselves, and they often step into society to observe in what degree they are objects of attention; for, though ever accused of vanity, the greater part of men of genius feel that their existence, as such, must depend on the opinion of others.

He pretends to nothing short of extirpating from the country, by means of terror, egotism, honor, customs, decorum, fashion, vanity, the love of money, good company, intrigue, wit, luxury, and misery.

He told me of De Balzac's insane vanity, of his furious passion for wealth and luxury, of his readiness to plunge and to drag others after him into the most hazardous adventures, and of his insensibility to commercial honor.

It is sometimes more honorable to yield to a demand than to meet it with defiance; and the prince who removed a cause of war arising out of mere national vanity, while at the same time he maintained in all essential points the interests and dignity of his kingdom, deserved well of his subjects, and merits the approval of the historian.

They are amateur affairs, where, as always at such times, one hears much, nonsense and vanity, much making of phrases and sentimental grimace; but there was one excellent speaker, adroit and rapid as only a Frenchman could be.

It is the American who does these things, because an American, who either from taste or vanity buys a picture, is often quite uneducated as to the arts, and cannot understand why a little picture or figure costs so much money.

My vanity was deeply wounded by the reflection that I had so long been too stupid to discover her intentions, and at the same time never doubting that I understood them perfectly; and also that she, whom I had taught myself to believe nobody else would have, had actually rejected me with all my fancied greatness.

Life had become so much easier as a problem with him, so much inner probing and speculation and worry about small vanities had been smoothed away since he had been engaged day after day in a definite service which was building up by a law deduced here, an inspired formula there, a tradition for its servants.

And whereas the general result would have suggested a total disregard of the vanities of dress, no Quaker coquette was ever more jealous of the peculiar texture of the fabrics she wore, or of the fashion in which they were made.

It carried appeal to a young woman's vanity, to be walking so, to feel that the laird liked well enough to be where he was.

The three trifles are now distorted taste, no feeling, and no ear for tone; and with these are required the necessary audacity, immeasurable vanity, senseless exhibitions of strength, a poor touch upon the piano, and what they call "intellect."

The utmost indeed we can pretend to ascertain is what the natives themselves believe to have been their ancient history; and it is proper to remark that in the present question there can be no suspicion of bias from national vanity, as we have reason to presume that the authors of these books were not Sumatrans.

With a boy there is no vanity in the matter, no jealousy, and therefore none of the tempting, not a tenth part of the coarseness; and consequently desire is always fresh and keen.

The name of that gentleman is so well known in Europe, the information which comes from him must do so much honor to whoever has been favored with it, and my vanity is so much interested in making this acknowledgment, that I can no longer refuse myself the pleasure of prefixing this advertisement to this new edition of my book.

All Michael's very vanity and vainglory made him rush out at once; he would have walked into Dublin Castle for a lady's glove.

"That is the lady I am going to marry," the captain, whose vanity was flattered, said, "and she is as pure and as good as an angel, just as she is as beautiful as one, and into the bargain she comes of a very good and very rich family; in short, in the fullest sense of the word, she is 'a good match.'"

Nobody knew how painfully she counted the years, how she would fain have held time back with her thin hands, how futilely and pitifully she set her loving heart against it, and not for herself and her own vanity, but for the sake of her lover.

The cruelty of beasts against other species is caused by hunger, the need of nourishment; the cruelty of man against man has no other motive than the vanity of his masters and the folly of his impertinent prejudices.

A secret history, in which there is no secret and no history, cannot tempt indiscretion to blab or vanity to quote; and by this means modern conversation flows gentle and easy, unencumbered with matter and unburdened of instruction.

Come, take away these dishes, and be sure to eat every morsel of that omelette, for I would not willingly mortify Octave's vanity.

To focus exclusively on dollars is to secure jealousy, fear, vanity, and a vaulting ambition that may claw its way through the mesh and let your dollars slip into the yeasty deep.

A Spaniard, she figures as a monster of cruelty, pride and vanity, capable of wishes and deeds which we have no desire to remember.

He has always waited to see whether things will come to him of themselves, and then if they didn't he thought it was a wise Providence taking them away, showing him the vanity of setting his heart on anything, while all the time it's his own nature really that makes things somehow slip away from him.

Yet he did not doubt that, by discreet appeals to the vanity and cupidity of the general, he could induce that blandest of politicians to embark in an enterprise which promised evergreen laurels and rich returns of gold.

Altogether bewilderment, softness, and indifference on the part of the men; vanity, cruelty, and foolery on the part of the officers.

His general employment is to scorn all business, but the study of the modes and vices of the times, and you may look upon him as upon the painted sign of a man hung up in the air, only to be tossed to and fro with every wind of temptation and vanity.

They mortified his vanity, they humbled his pride and arrogance, and compelled him to disgorge the acquisitions which, like a robber, he had made in violation of public faith, justice, and humanity.

From the devoted astronomer's austere lifework to the twinkle of a fairy's glittering tinsel; from the glories of the first man up the battle-swept hill to the infamous assassin, all is vanity.

A very brilliant match, from a worldly point of view, was arranged for him, and he married chiefly because by refusing he would have had to hurt the young lady who wished to be married to him, and those who arranged the marriage, and also because a marriage with a nice young girl of noble birth flattered his vanity and gave him pleasure.

Of these, perhaps, the most common and the most absolutely baseless is the one which imputes to him excessive literary vanity.

Such is the vanity of human life that it is not uncommon that some hardworking, faithful and bright scholar is remembered only for one single saying, as Hamilton in the House of Commons was remembered for his single speech.

Any great artist is far too perceptive and too exigent to be satisfied with that effect, and hence in vanity he seeks solace.

Those who have not yet determined on the side of vanity, who, like Hercules, (before he knew the queen of Lydia, and had learned to spin) have not resolved on their choice between virtue and pleasure, may reflect, that it is still in their power to imitate that hero in his noble choice, and in his virtuous rejection.

His startling success as a writer irresistibly pointed him out as a candidate for election to the French Academy, but here he was met by the barbed wire of jealousy and exasperated vanity.

Society gains nothing whilst a man, not himself renovated, attempts to renovate things around him; he has become tediously good in some particular, but negligent or narrow in the rest, and hypocrisy and vanity are often the disgusting result.

He had thought a good deal, with innocent vanity, of the wonder and admiration he would excite, in his uniform, fresh from camp, and bound for the battlefields of his country; but he had thought a great deal more of the happiness of breathing again the atmosphere of love and sympathy which we find nowhere but at home.

I am a child of nature, and cannot conceal my feelings; the only difference between me and a man of refinement is, that he knows how to conceal his vanity and exultation at success, which I let everybody see.

If, taking the risks, he fails once, he will, in all probability, be sacrificed to the yapping of the curs who voice the taxpayer, or to the vanity of some less competent senior.

The former are intolerable on account of their lies, their assumption, and their vanity; the others are equally odious by reason of their vulgarity, their stupidity, and their sordid love of lucre.

He is a most kind and indulgent master, and, provided his servants humor his peculiarities, flatter his vanity a little now and then, and do not peculate grossly on him before his face they may manage him to perfection.

This motive is not a mere extreme case of ordinary vanity, but something demonic, involving a surrender of the will, the use of any means, however atrocious, and even an indifference to success itself.

I need not add, that whenever your Majesty's goodness shall relieve me from the situation, I shall quit it with that regret which is the natural result of leaving a great and essential work of Government incomplete, which I had vanity enough to imagine I might, by your Majesty's goodness, be enabled to restore.

A wretched compound of vanity, selfishness, and shrewdness, where his own interests were concerned, he had no other view as regarded his young master than to use him as a ladder by which he might himself mount to fortune.

Girls who wore fringes were in her eyes stamped with three certain faults: untidiness, vanity, and love of dressing beyond their station.

He had no conceit of it, being innocent of that peculiar German type of vanity which runs to hair, yet he could not prevent people from commenting on his extraordinary hirsute adornment.

Your conduct towards me was an act of cruelty, which would have called forth some compunction in the breast of my bitterest enemy; and yet, unoffending, I was heartlessly sacrificed to your vanity.

I have not merit enough to boast that I am proud, for pride has always something ennobling about it: but I was vain, and vanity enabled me to put on the appearance of courage.

In making which strong assertion I am not moved by idle vanity, but by a just and reasonable conception of the intrinsic merit of my own achievement: as will be universally admitted when I publish the great work, now almost ready for the press, upon which, in preparatory study and in convincing discovery, I have been for the past ten years engaged.

On the success, however, of those plates, he commenced painter, a painter of portraits: the most ill-suited employment imaginable to a man whose turn certainly was not flattery, nor his talent adapted to look on vanity without a sneer.

Edward could only attempt an explanation by supposing, that, perhaps, at first accidentally meeting, the vanity of the one had been so worked on by the flattery of the other, as to lead by degrees to all the rest.