Word of the Day Archive
Monday August 25, 2003
vainglory \VAYN-glor-ee; vayn-GLOR-ee\ , noun:
1. Excessive pride in one's achievements, abilities, qualities, etc.
2. Vain display.
Spurred by the vainglory of being the first person in recent memory to catch a Solovki canal trout on a fly, I fished with newfound intensity.
-- Fen Montaigne, Reeling in Russia
As if to underscore the awkward mix of social unease and vainglory on which such claims are based, they are always delivered in the same triumphant tone: 'We have the tallest high-rise flats, the longest wall, the largest community of artists . . . in Europe.'
-- Deyan Sudjic, "The race to be a Capital of Culture is a non-starter", The Observer, April 15, 2001
Vainglory is from Middle English vein glory, ultimately from Latin vana gloria, "empty pride," from vana, "empty" and gloria, "glory, pride." The adjective form is vainglorious.