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in vain


  • Grethari tries in vain to free himself
    Grethari tries in vain to free himself
  • WordNet 3.6
    • adv in vain to no avail "he looked for her in vain","the city fathers tried vainly to find a solution"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • In vain to no purpose; without effect; ineffectually.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • In vain (Shak.) ineffectually: to no end: with levity or profanity
    • ***


  • Friedrich Nietzsche
    “Against boredom the gods themselves fight in vain.”
  • William Hazlitt
    “Our repugnance to death increases in proportion to our consciousness of having lived in vain.”
  • Thomas Carlyle
    “No great man lives in vain. The history of the world is but the biography of great men.”
  • Joseph Addison
    “If we hope for what we are not likely to possess, we act and think in vain, and make life a greater dream and shadow than it really is.”
  • Bible
    “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. [Philippians 2:3]”
  • William Hazlitt
    “An honest man speaks the truth, though it may give offence; a vain man, in order that it may.”


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. vanus, empty.


In literature:

Miru waited in vain to see her intended victim writhing in agony and raging with thirst.
"The Science of Fairy Tales" by Edwin Sidney Hartland
Maurice presented this in its most vivid colors before Bertha's eyes; but in vain.
"Fairy Fingers" by Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie
Do not have Him say about you, 'In vain have I smitten, in vain have I loved.
"Expositions of Holy Scripture" by Alexander Maclaren
In vain every eye on board was engaged in looking out for her.
"The Three Midshipmen" by W.H.G. Kingston
Spencer and his colleagues came from London in the hope of persuading the men, but in vain.
"William Pitt and the Great War" by John Holland Rose
Bristol in vain demanded satisfactory assurances from that court.
"The Political History of England - Vol. X." by William Hunt
Gertrude had called in vain for Daniel; in vain had she waited for him the whole day.
"The Goose Man" by Jacob Wassermann
It was tried by them all, but tried in vain.
"Historic Tales, vol 10 (of 15)" by Charles Morris
He tried in vain to survey in various directions.
"Celebrated Travels and Travellers" by Jules Verne
In vain you look for the village church, which in Europe is never far away.
"American Sketches" by Charles Whibley
He made inquiries at several places in the neighborhood, but in vain.
"A Beautiful Alien" by Julia Magruder
This call was never made in vain, nor will it be to-night, in the new world.
"The Clansman" by Thomas Dixon
He then looked anxiously for the white one, which he was to kill; but in vain.
"Eastern Tales by Many Story Tellers" by Various
In vain the mariners exerted their strength and skill.
"The Boy Crusaders" by John G. Edgar
I had thus attained, in the vigour of life, a distinction for which hundreds, perhaps thousands, had laboured through life in vain.
"Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 58, Number 358, August 1845" by Various
In vain would men, in vain would gods essay, To hew the beams of adamant away.
"Museum of Antiquity" by L. W. Yaggy
A letter of earnest expostulation, in the handwriting of Louis, was sent to Berlin; but in vain.
"Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3)" by Thomas Babington Macaulay
In vain he tried to recollect.
"The Cryptogram" by James De Mille
I listened, but in vain.
"Tom Burke Of "Ours", Volume II (of II)" by Charles James Lever
They turned him over and over to see whether there was still life in him, but for a long time looked in vain.
"Tales from the German" by Various

In poetry:

Why came in dreams the low-born man
Between thee and thy rest?
In vain thy whispered message ran,
Though justice was its quest!
"Pilate's Wife" by George MacDonald
Then I reach, I must believe,
Not her soul in vain,
For to me again
It reaches, and past retrieve
Is wound in the toils I weave;
"Mesmerism" by Robert Browning
O'ver hill and dale and mountain range,
In temple, church, and mosque,
In Vedas, Bible, Al Koran
I had searched for Thee in vain.
"Quest For God" by Swami Vivekananda
Wearing no earthly chain,
Thou canst in azure bright soar far above;
Nor pinest thou in vain
O'er joys departed, unforgotten love.
"O For Thy Wings, Sweet Bird" by Mary Baker Eddy
When the drooping bluebells vied,
Not in vain, with heaven's hue,
Dear, that morning in the wood
Love, I thought, had eyes of blue.
"A Song Of Love's Eyes" by Ethel Clifford
Winged seraph of the summer heaven,
Whose wondrous rapture, wild and long,
A hundred bards in vain have striven
To prison in a song!
"The Skylark" by Cicely Fox Smith

In news:

10-16 states that those that take the Lord's name in vain shall be stoned to death.
PORT ARTHUR — Jimmy Stroud 's trip to South Carolina won't be in vain.
Newly Reviewed Aerwacol During a sort of apocalyptic fury, a Canadian pig farmer and his wife (Christopher Harris, Donna M Parrone) take to the railroad tracks in a vain attempt to escape the wrath of God.
Lunker chase continues in vain.
If we do not believe in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, we are worshiping God in vain.
In a famous comparison to the bald eagle, Ben Franklin once said the wild turkey is %22a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original Native of America … though a little vain & silly, a bird of courage.%22.
And you'll probably laugh as hard as we did at this video of people in Amsterdam vainly trying to pick up an iPhone that's been glued to the ground.
They should take comfort in knowing that Ava 's life was not in vain.
Her devastated sister was determined that she wouldn't have died in vain.
Bronx Salute was not in vain.
Evers ' Widow: "You Did Not Die In Vain".
With the way La Salle's defense regularly stormed in on him, Parkland quarterback Tim Baranek did more dodging, most times in vain, than throwing.
Carly Simon's Ancient 'You're So Vain ' Riddle Solved in Creepiest Way Possible.
Carly Simon whispers name "David" backward in new version of "You're So Vain ".
Green's Name in Vain .

In science:

Thus, since forty years the GW hunters persist in their vain efforts aimed at the experimental detection of GW’s.
An immediate proof of the non-existence of GW's
Lp (A, ℓn We have tried in vain to prove Theorem D directly using uniquely tools from free probability.
Theory of Amalgamated Lp Spaces in Noncommutative Probability
However, we have searched the literature in vain for similar results on growth functions of semigroups rather than groups.
L^1 Ergodic Theorems for Random Group Averages
However, all this digression has not been in vain, as on the way we have discovered the probabilistic structure of a general Λ-coalescent.
Recent progress in coalescent theory
In the same vain such theories are superstring theories.
On novel string theories from 4d gauge theories
This construction is hardly useful for practical calculations, but the existence of a simple random surface representation of Weingarten type suggests that the search for the continuous QCD-string is not in vain.
A String Project in Multicolour QCD
Evidence of these particles has been searched for (in vain) at LEP, both directly, i.e., via pair and single LQ production, as well as through t, u-channel contributions to, e.g., quark pair production (LQ exchange). A review of LEP results and their comparison with the ones obtained at Tevatron and Hera is given in .
Searches for new particles at LEP: a summary report
Unfortunately, the optical picture of TMTTF compounds is complicated by multiple phonon lines filling just the relevant region. But this obstacle is not in vain, being viewed also as another indication for the CD.
Summary for Theory of the Ferroelectric Phase in Organic Conductors in Relation to Experiments
The most names taken in vain in a cosmological model award goes to Ghafarnjad (2006) for Brans-Dicke (scalar-tensor), Klein-Gordon (wave), deBroglie-Bohm (particle), Minkowski (background), HamiltonJacobi (equations).
Astrophysics in 2006
On another hand, attempts at quantization of higher dimensional nonlinear quantum fields are most likely to be in vain (in accord with Landau!).
Landau's Last Paper and its Impact on Developments in Mathematics, Physics and Other Disciplines in New Millennium
The majority of work in this vain has been performed using S states in Rb because their repulsive interactions make them stable against ionizing collisions, and there is also little coupling to adjacent pair states [53, 54].
Non-linear optics using cold Rydberg atoms
Several surveys have been conducted with the aim to detect CO in dwarf galaxies, but generally in vain.
Interferometric observations of nearby galaxies
These hopes are all in vain. It is exactly extreme pattern diversity that makes pattern programm ing possible, practical, and profitable.
Ten Incredibly Dangerous Software Ideas
If we test the osculating criterions (9) for a generic linear combination of the involved m’s, the Newton polytope decomposition is valid only with probability one, in the vain of the Galligo-Rupprecht and ElkadiGalligo-Weimann algorithms or .
Algebraic osculation and factorization of sparse polynomials
In a vain attempt to use the Latin-square morphism construction to classify all of the overlap-free morphisms, we stumbled across the Leech square-free morphism in .
The Morphisms With Unstackable Image Words