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[van-ish] /ˈvæn ɪʃ/
verb (used without object)
to disappear from sight, especially quickly; become invisible:
The frost vanished when the sun came out.
to go away, especially furtively or mysteriously; disappear by quick departure:
The thief vanished in the night.
to disappear by ceasing to exist; come to an end:
The pain vanished after he took an aspirin.
Mathematics. (of a number, quantity, or function) to become zero.
verb (used with object)
to cause to disappear.
Phonetics. the last part of a vowel sound when it differs noticeably in quality from the main sound, as the faint (ē) at the end of the (ā) in the pronunciation of pain.
Origin of vanish
1275-1325; Middle English vanisshen, vanissen < Middle French evaniss-, long stem of e(s)vanirLatin ex- ex-1 + vānēscere to pass away, equivalent to vān(us) vain + -ēscere inchoative suffix
Related forms
vanisher, noun
vanishingly, adverb
vanishment, noun
nonvanishing, adjective
outvanish, verb (used with object)
unvanishing, adjective
1. evanesce. See disappear.
1. appear. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for vanish
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It would not do for your brother to vanish from your house, alone and with no motive.

    The Sleuth of St. James's Square Melville Davisson Post
  • I must vanish from your life, be gone as completely as though I had never entered it.

    The Inn at the Red Oak Latta Griswold
  • Which she did incontinent, perhaps even more glad to get away than I was to see her vanish.

    The Secret of Charlotte Bront Frederika Macdonald
  • Surely all my dreams were not to vanish like the mist of the morning!

    Wilfrid Cumbermede George MacDonald
  • Rapt soul of youth's dawn, with myriad dreams all to vanish when the sun rises upon the morning!

    Literary Hearthstones of Dixie La Salle Corbell Pickett
British Dictionary definitions for vanish


verb (intransitive)
to disappear, esp suddenly or mysteriously
to cease to exist; fade away
(maths) to become zero
(phonetics, rare) the second and weaker of the two vowels in a falling diphthong
Derived Forms
vanisher, noun
vanishingly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: vanissen, from Old French esvanir, from Latin ēvānēscere to evaporate, from ē-ex-1 + vānēscere to pass away, from vānus empty
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for vanish

c.1300, from shortened form of stem of Old French esvanir "disappear," from Vulgar Latin *exvanire, from Latin evanescere "disappear, die out," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + vanescere "vanish," from vanus "empty" (see vain). Related: Vanished; vanishing. Vanishing point in perspective drawing is recorded from 1797.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with vanish


see under into thin air
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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