Photography is always a way to preserve, [a vain] attempt to keep your subjects alive, both in their youth and grace or elderness.
Randi said that all the prayers had not been vain, for they “helped send Tommy to a better place.”
His seven nonfiction books include God's Name in vain: The Wrongs .
California agribusinesses and their favored legislators tried, in vain, to get his book banned from public libraries.
“Every double agent is inclined to be vain, moody, and introspective,” Masterman complained.
vain postulate it often seems, yet of all life Brown demanded it.
Ambrose felt almost despairing as he heard in vain the last name.
In vain I tried to lift my rifle and have one shot for my life.
O the words of kindness, all to be expressed in vain, that flowed from her lips!
In vain Anthony lifted her tea-cup and the muffin-plate to her for consolation.
c.1300, "devoid of real value, idle, unprofitable," from Old French vein "worthless," from Latin vanus "idle, empty," from PIE *wa-no-, from root *eue- "to leave, abandon, give out" (cf. Old English wanian "to lessen," wan "deficient;" Old Norse vanta "to lack;" Latin vacare "to be empty," vastus "empty, waste;" Avestan va- "lack," Persian vang "empty, poor;" Sanskrit una- "deficient"). Meaning "conceited" first recorded 1690s, from earlier sense of "silly, idle, foolish" (late 14c.). Phrase in vain "to no effect" (c.1300, after Latin in vanum) preserves the original sense. Related: Vainly.