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Vanity   Listen
noun
Vanity  n.  (pl. vanities)  
1.
The quality or state of being vain; want of substance to satisfy desire; emptiness; unsubstantialness; unrealness; falsity. "Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity." "Here I may well show the vanity of that which is reported in the story of Walsingham."
2.
An inflation of mind upon slight grounds; empty pride inspired by an overweening conceit of one's personal attainments or decorations; an excessive desire for notice or approval; pride; ostentation; conceit. "The exquisitely sensitive vanity of Garrick was galled."
3.
That which is vain; anything empty, visionary, unreal, or unsubstantial; fruitless desire or effort; trifling labor productive of no good; empty pleasure; vain pursuit; idle show; unsubstantial enjoyment. "Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher." "Vanity possesseth many who are desirous to know the certainty of things to come." "(Sin) with vanity had filled the works of men." "Think not, when woman's transient breath is fled, That all her vanities at once are dead; Succeeding vanities she still regards."
4.
One of the established characters in the old moralities and puppet shows. See Morality, n., 5. "You... take vanity the puppet's part."
5.
Same as dressing table.
6.
A cabinet built around a bathroom sink, usually with a countertop and sometimes drawers.
Synonyms: Egotism; pride; emptiness; worthlessness; self-sufficiency. See Egotism, and Pride.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Vanity" Quotes from Famous Books



... funeral smell of the flowers at the altar, there has been added the cacodorous scents of forty or fifty different brands of talcum and rice powder. It begins to grow warm in the church, and a number of women open their vanity bags and duck down for stealthy dabs at their noses. Others, more reverent, suffer the agony of augmenting shines. One, a trickster, has concealed powder in her pocket handkerchief, and applies it dexterously while pretending ...
— A Book of Burlesques • H. L. Mencken

... seeks to satisfy itself, craves for the esteem of others, admiration, flattery, applause, and glory. This is vanity, different from conceit only in this, that the former is based on something that is, or has been done, while the latter is ...
— Explanation of Catholic Morals - A Concise, Reasoned, and Popular Exposition of Catholic Morals • John H. Stapleton

... was not prepared to have them brandished in its face, and it would have none of Lady Hamilton,—nor would Lady Nelson. The general public opinion at the time receives, probably, accurate expression from Sir William Hotham, a man then in London society. "His vanity, excusable as such a foible is in such a man, led him to unpardonable excesses, and blinded him to the advantages of being respected in society.... His conduct to Lady Nelson was the very extreme of unjustifiable weakness, for he should at least have attempted to conceal his ...
— The Life of Nelson, Vol. II. (of 2) - The Embodiment of the Sea Power of Great Britain • A. T. (Alfred Thayer) Mahan

... on the errand called a twinkle to his eye and a half-smothered smile to his lips. She felt assured that he was thoroughly cognizant of the curiosity which had prompted her researches among the family records, and inferred that he had either no vanity to be flattered by such trifles, or was dowered with too much generosity to evince any gratification at the discovery of an interest she ...
— Vashti - or, Until Death Us Do Part • Augusta J. Evans Wilson

... attentively, who, however, had observed him immediately, and had asked her mother, "Is not that Monsieur in the boat yonder?" Madame Henrietta who knew Monsieur better than her daughter did, smiled at the mistake her vanity had led her into, and had answered, "No; it is only M. de Guiche, his favorite." The princess, at this reply, was constrained to check an instinctive tenderness of feeling which the courage displayed by the count had awakened. At the very moment the princess had put this question ...
— Ten Years Later - Chapters 1-104 • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... Rector shook his head. He had not thought of that aspect of the subject. He was indeed so free from vanity or self-importance, that his only feeling in regard to the sudden appearance of the perpetual curate was respect and surprise. He would not be convinced otherwise even now. "He can do his ...
— The Rector • Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant

... let as look at the present position of American women in society. In its best aspects social life may be said to be the natural outgrowth of the Christian home. It is something far better than the world, than Vanity Fair, than the Court of Mammon, where all selfish passions meet and parade in deceptive masquerade. It is the selfish element in human nature which pervades what we call the world; self-indulgence, enjoyment, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, ...
— Female Suffrage • Susan Fenimore Cooper

... own personal appearance, of which he always took the greatest care, he had a naive admiration that he did not disguise. His candor in this respect was comical; yet, strange to say, he was really without vanity. ...
— The Martian • George Du Maurier

... tell me if Gifford is really my commentator: it is too good to be true, for I know nothing would gratify my vanity so much as the reality; even the idea is too precious ...
— The Works Of Lord Byron, Letters and Journals, Vol. 1 • Lord Byron, Edited by Rowland E. Prothero

... all her scenes, withdrawn, Let noise and vanity be gone: In secret silence of the mind, My heaven, and there my ...
— Hymns for Christian Devotion - Especially Adapted to the Universalist Denomination • J.G. Adams

... at bottom that I am not an abandoned fellow; and that there is a mixture of gravity in me. This, as I grow older, may increase; and when my active capacity begins to abate, I may sit down with the preacher, and resolve all my past life into vanity and vexation of spirit. ...
— Clarissa, Volume 6 (of 9) - The History Of A Young Lady • Samuel Richardson

... four or five o'clock in the afternoon that we were relieved, and then in a fashion that highly flattered our vanity. The little Japanese colonel appeared in person with a small force of riflemen and some stretcher bearers, and he fell back in astonishment when he saw our occupation. We had pushed forward a lookout a ...
— Indiscreet Letters From Peking • B. L. Putman Weale

... Bouillon no longer affected any doubt about the authenticity of the discovery. All his friends complimented him upon it, the majority to see how he would receive their congratulations. It was a chaos rather than a mixture, of vanity the most outrageous, modesty the most affected, and joy the most immoderate which ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... not hesitate to anticipate the subject of the lost books, by frequent allusions to the history and customs of his own country. It must be added, that in no part of his writings do worse instances occur, than in this treatise, of that vanity which was notoriously his weakness, which are rendered doubly offensive by their being put into the mouth of his brother ...
— Historical Sketches, Volume I (of 3) • John Henry Newman

... show, too, how gayly bedight and feather-crested was Amoyah, wearing a choice garb of furs;—often, so great was his vanity, his face was elaborately painted as if for some splendid festive occasion, a dance or the ball-play, instead of merely to impress with his magnificence this simple domestic circle. Tus-ka-sah dated the events that followed from one night ...
— The Frontiersmen • Charles Egbert Craddock

... robust, brave-looking man, of unaffected manners, bordering on plainness, though highly educated, and accustomed in Europe, where he was chaplain to Lord C——d, to the most aristocratic society. Perhaps it was owing to his knowledge of the vanity of aristocratic airs that he affected such a plainness of manners, being thoroughly tired of the odd, unmeaning ceremonials of fashion. It must be confessed, at any rate, that he entertained no small contempt for the mushroom ...
— The Cross and the Shamrock • Hugh Quigley

... was too fond of good eating; it is in vain to deny it; his deliberately pulling out a plum with his finger and thumb, shows the epicure, not excited by the voracity of hunger, but evidently aiming to protract his enjoyment. The exclamation which follows savours of vanity; but when his youth is recollected, this will be deemed a venial error, and it must also be considered that his few faults were probably compensated by a constellation of excellencies. This poem has been imitated, (I will not say successfully, for its beautiful ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Vol. 19, Issue 545, May 5, 1832 • Various

... President, "two or three weeks would do me no good. I cannot fly from my thoughts—my solicitude for this great country follows me wherever I go. I do not think it is personal vanity or ambition, though I am not free from these infirmities, but I cannot but feel that the weal or woe of this great nation will be decided in November. There is no program offered by any wing of the Democratic party but that ...
— The Papers And Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Complete - Constitutional Edition • Abraham Lincoln

... deep of rich content, we rose to retrace our steps. For, spurred by vanity, we must be returning the way we had come, to show ...
— At a Winter's Fire • Bernard Edward J. Capes

... have ordered it, prohibition in actuality instead of its pretence. The pretence has satisfied the rumsellers who sold, the rum-drinkers who drank, and the radicals who have boasted of the law, for all have got out of it what results were desired: appetite was catered to, vanity was satisfied, and graft engendered for the benefit of ...
— The Ramrodders - A Novel • Holman Day

... certainly ruin all mine, as well as the Company's affairs. His mismanagement and obstinacy have caused the loss of many lacs of my revenues, dissipated and embezzled, and every public consideration sacrificed to his vanity and private views. I beg to offer an instance in proof of my assertions, and to justify the hope I have that you will cause to be made good to me all the losses I have sustained by the maladministration and bad practices of your servants, according to all the account of ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. III. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... lying in wait for him, undertook his consolation. One morning Alfred made his appearance in spurs, with his hat very much on one side and a huge bunch of hair on the other, by which signs his brother understood that his vanity was satisfied. He was just eighteen. That a man of respectable life and notions like Paul de Musset should take these adventures as a matter of course makes it difficult for an American to find the point ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, October, 1877, Vol. XX. No. 118 • Various

... and only bestowed upon those who particularly distinguished themselves, was soon looked upon as an honourable mark of approved merit; and served very powerfully to excite emulation among the competitors, I doubt whether vanity, in any instance, ever surveyed itself with more self-gratification, than did some of these poor people when they first put ...
— ESSAYS, Political, Economical and Philosophical. Volume 1. • Benjamin Rumford

... those pleasant thoughts and delusions which alone render life agreeable, and to which even to the very last we would gladly cling; but what becomes of the swiftness of time, when the mind sees the vanity of human pursuits? which is sure to be the case when its fondest, dearest hopes have been blighted at the very moment when the harvest was deemed secure. What becomes from that moment, I repeat, of the shortness of time? I put not the question to those who have never known that trial; they ...
— Lavengro - The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest • George Borrow

... since there is now an end of concealment between us; that is, that Allan Gerard is so weak as to feel shame at being a cripple. So much so, that the idea is intolerable of first remeeting you amidst your household's pitying curiosity. I never used to know I had a personal vanity; I fancy it is not quite that, but rather the humiliation of the man who has always been well-dressed and who suddenly finds himself sent into public sight in a shabby, tattered garment. I had accepted my physical conventionality as part of my social ...
— From the Car Behind • Eleanor M. Ingram

... riding down Pennsylvania Avenue, he, inquired of me in a humorous way, "Sherman, what special hobby do you intend to adopt?" I inquired what he meant, and he explained that all men had their special weakness or vanity, and that it was wiser to choose one's own than to leave the newspapers to affix one less acceptable, and that for his part he had chosen the "horse," so that when anyone tried to pump him he would turn the conversation to his "horse." I answered that I would stick to the "theatre ...
— Memoirs of Three Civil War Generals, Complete • U. S. Grant, W. T. Sherman, P. H. Sheridan

... Caesar Moreno as premier called forth the protest of the representatives of three great Powers, and such an uprising of the people that he had to give way. Adroit politicians were not wanting to flatter his vanity, defend his follies, and show him how to violate the spirit and intent of the Constitution, while keeping within the letter of the law. The Legislatures were packed with subservient office-holders, while every artifice was used to ...
— The Hawaiian Islands • The Department of Foreign Affairs

... his appearance to indicate that he was destined for the cure of souls. The proud father said: 'He is in philosophy.' The young man had a twinkle in his eye that might have been philosophical. Neither of them had a suspicion of the vanity concealed in ...
— Two Summers in Guyenne • Edward Harrison Barker

... notice of Rosenthal's playing in the Koelnische Zeitung?" and there is a battery of suspicious looks directed towards him whilst murmurs arise, "What an uncultured man! To talk 'shop' like a regular musician!" The fact being that the man had read everything, but was setting a trap for the vanity of these egregious persons. The newspapers, the managers and the artists before the public are to blame for this callow, shallow attempt at culture. We read that Rosenthal is a second Heine in conversation. ...
— Old Fogy - His Musical Opinions and Grotesques • James Huneker

... doomings, to inspire a dangerous passion, or to occasion maladies. It is surprising that these superstitious and abominable practices should have gained entrance among Christians, and have been dreaded by persons who ought to have known their vanity and impotency. ...
— The Phantom World - or, The philosophy of spirits, apparitions, &c, &c. • Augustin Calmet

... "is the most destructive and bloodthirsty of all the brute creation. They not only kill for food, but through vanity and a desire for personal adornment. I have even heard it said that they kill for amusement, being unable to restrain their murderous desires. In this they are more ...
— Policeman Bluejay • L. Frank Baum

... a question?" she said; "is it not enough that I lead the way? Hast thou lived with heretics till thou hast learned to instal the vanity of thine own private judgment in place of due honour ...
— The Abbot • Sir Walter Scott

... for the moral wellbeing of the communities to which they penetrated. Wherever there was a group of log cabins, thither some Methodist circuit-rider made his way or there some Baptist preacher took up his abode. Their prejudices and narrow dislikes, their raw vanity and sullen distrust of all who were better schooled than they, count for little when weighed against their intense earnestness and heroic self-sacrifice. They proved their truth by their endeavor. They yielded ...
— The Winning of the West, Volume Four - Louisiana and the Northwest, 1791-1807 • Theodore Roosevelt

... being such an official instrument. Readers growing familiar with her voice will soon have assurance that, addressing the public, she would not have blotted a passage or affected a tone for the applause of all Europe. Yet she could own to a liking for flattery, and say of the consequent vanity, that an insensibility to it is inhuman. Her humour was a mouthpiece of nature. She inherited from her father the judicial mind, and her fine conscience brought it to bear on herself as well as on the world, ...
— Letters from Egypt • Lucie Duff Gordon

... reason. Thus you will have created in the bosom of your home a comedy in five acts, in which you play, to your profit, the brilliant role of Figaro or Almaviva; and for some months you will amuse yourself so much the more, because your amour-propre, your vanity, ...
— The Physiology of Marriage, Part II. • Honore de Balzac

... all his anxiety ceasing with the responsibility, "I expect to be made a member of the New York Philosophical Society at least, which is learned company for a man who has never been at college, for discovering a port on the coast of Africa, which harbour, ladies and gentlemen, without too much vanity, I hope to be permitted to call Port Truck. If Mr. Dodge, however should think this too anti-republican, we will compromise the matter by calling it Port Truck and Dodge; or the town that no doubt will sooner or later arise on its banks, may be called Dodgeborough, and ...
— Homeward Bound - or, The Chase • James Fenimore Cooper

... father chose the son's version in preference to his own, and published it. But the tales of Perrault, nevertheless, show the embellishment of the mature master-Academician's touch in subduing the too marvelous tone, or adding a bit of court manners, or a satirical hit at the vanity and failings of man. ...
— A Study of Fairy Tales • Laura F. Kready

... and ventilating is easily solved for those who desire its solution sufficiently to make the necessary appropriations. One quarter of what is commonly spent for vanity and deceit will be ample. Most men and women, at least the unthinking, prefer fashionable show rather than health! A fearful statement, but sadly true. There is doubtless more danger from impure air than from cold. Our senses warn us quickly of the latter; the prompting ...
— Homes And How To Make Them • Eugene Gardner

... out—eloquently, even beautifully expressed, and with such personal charm, magnetism, and strength, that their profound messages speed right through the minds and hearts, without as much as spattering the walls, and land right square in the middle of the listener's vanity. For all this is a part of manner and its quality is of splendor—for manner is at times a good bluff but substance a poor one and knows it. The discovered one's usual and first great outburst is probably the greatest truth that he ever utters. Fearlessly standing, he looks ...
— Essays Before a Sonata • Charles Ives

... thanks for the benefit, could not approve the inflated words of this extravagant praiser, and said that Gotrik was more generous than Gaut. Wishing to crush the empty boast of the flatterer, he chose rather to bear witness to the generosity of the absent than tickle with lies the vanity of his benefactor who was present. For another thing, he thought it somewhat more desirable to be charged with ingratitude than to support with his assent such idle and boastful praise, and also to move the king by the solemn truth than to beguile him with lying flatteries. ...
— The Danish History, Books I-IX • Saxo Grammaticus ("Saxo the Learned")

... no doubt have surmised her secret before; but although Van Berg was intensely proud, as we have seen, and had been rendered self-complacent and self-confident by the circumstances of his lot, he had none of this contemptible vanity. The discovery of Ida's love caused him far greater surprise than when he recognized his own, and it was a source of deep satisfaction to him that this modern and conventional Undine had received a nature of ...
— A Face Illumined • E. P. Roe

... Rachel can hem all the ruffles. And Cousin Elizabeth said ruffles were vanity. I'd like my frocks just as well ...
— A Little Girl in Old Salem • Amanda Minnie Douglas

... back upon him turn; Eternal life I did not heed, For which I now do mourn. 69. Ah, golden time, I did thee spend In sin and idleness, Ah, health and wealth, I did you lend To bring me to distress. 70. My feet to evil I let run, And tongue of folly talk; My eyes to vanity hath gone, Thus did I vainly walk. 71. I did as greatly toil and strain Myself with sin to please, As if that everlasting grain Could have been found in these. 72. But nothing, nothing have I found But weeping, and alas, And sorrow, which doth now surround ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... prove that it isn't, I will—and he shall have the chance. To me he seems utterly good and dear; I've never seen anything about him that looked otherwise— except, of course, his calling himself an earl's son. Maybe that is only vanity, and no real harm, when you get to the bottom of it. I do not believe he is any such person as you have painted him. I want to see him. I want you to find him and send him to me. I will implore him to be honest with me, and tell me the whole ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... in every life, as in Solomon's, when all seems vanity. Lady Mabel Ashbourne's life had been cloudless—a continual summer, an unchangeable Italian sky; and yet there were times when she was weary of it, when some voice within her murmured, "This is not enough." She was pretty, she was ...
— Vixen, Volume II. • M. E. Braddon

... render an account of what you did on earth, for what reasons will you be remembered amongst men? Not because you established justice and did good deeds—or even great ones—for your people, but because you plunged the world in war in order to feed your vanity, and laid waste Belgium and shattered the Cathedral of Rheims. Truly a ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, September 30, 1914 • Various

... wealthy persons, more through vanity or weakness than generosity, have sacrificed their avidity to ostentation—some by renouncing their winnings, others by purposely losing. The greater number of such eccentrics, however, seem to have allowed themselves to ...
— The Gaming Table: Its Votaries and Victims - Volume II (of II) • Andrew Steinmetz

... the best of it: you shall pay your court by flattering the people present, and I mine by abusing those absent. Now, in spite of your youth and curling locks, I will wager that I succeed the best; for in vanity there is so great a mixture of envy that no compliment is like a judicious abuse: to enchant ...
— The Disowned, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... truthfully said that the tableau lasted as long as she willed it to last. Perhaps she read in the three masculine faces turned toward her a triangular admiration, since it emanated from three given points, and took from it a modest pinch for her vanity. Vain she never was; still, she was not without a share of vanity, that vanity of the artless, needing no sacrifices, which is gratified and appeased by a smile. It pleased her to know that she was lovely; and it doubled her pleasure to realize ...
— A Splendid Hazard • Harold MacGrath

... sottish as would make a doubt which of these to prefer in his choice? Well, then, even as we have done with these two men, so let us do with two families, two nations, or two kingdoms. Lay them both to the line of equity; which done, and duly considered, when it is done, here doth vanity lie bare to the view, and there shines felicity. Wherefore it is more convenient that such as fear and follow the law of the true God should have the swaying of such empires; not so much for themselves, their piety and their honesty (God's admired gifts) will ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. VII (of X)—Continental Europe I • Various

... the most lovely and the most austere, attract the pen of the poet. All the nations of Christendom send forth their warriors to the army of the cross, and the whole world thus becomes his patrimony. Whatever interest the taking of Troy might possess for the Greeks, or the vanity of the Romans might attach to the adventures of AEneas, whom they adopted as their progenitor, it may be asserted that neither the Iliad nor the Aeneid possesses the dignity of subject, the interest at the same time divine and human, and the ...
— Handbook of Universal Literature - From The Best and Latest Authorities • Anne C. Lynch Botta

... of her being by many years the youngest of his children, rendered natural, if not excusable, had yet been the only one about her, who had discernment to perceive, and authority to check her little ebullitions of vanity and self-will; she felt, as soon as the first natural tears were wiped away, that a restraint had been removed, and, scarcely knowing why, was too soon consoled for the greatest misfortune that could possibly have befallen one so dangerously gifted. Her ...
— The Beauty Of The Village • Mary Russell Mitford

... I see the possibility that a dispassionate reader may accuse me of taking too high a position, and using too warm a style—in rather giving way to the dictates of feeling than dwelling upon the proofs of my innocence; perhaps also, he may accuse me of vanity, in seeking to enhance my own zeal and claims. Without attempting to controvert these censures, I beg him to consider all the circumstances of my situation: my voyage, shipwreck, and anxiety to pursue the steps of our celebrated navigators. Let him suppose himself to ...
— A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 2 • Matthew Flinders

... I have seen nothing, in the various hypotheses brought forward, which did not to me involve a greater improbability than the presumption of guilt. Take that, for witness, that Byron accused himself, through a spirit of perverse vanity, of crimes he had not committed. How preposterous! He would stain the name of a sister, whom, on the supposition of his innocence, he loved with angelic ardor as well as purity, by associating it with such an infamous accusation. Suppose there are some ...
— The Life of Harriet Beecher Stowe • Charles Edward Stowe

... always, mamma?" asked 'Toinette, with such a complacent delight in her own accomplishments, that her mother's smile was sad as it was tender. But she felt that this was not the time or place to reprove the vanity so rankly springing in the child's heart; so ...
— Outpost • J.G. Austin

... with some pride upon the fact, and his vanity in this particular almost conquered his fear of the Afghan blade that still nestled close to his bull neck. He had drunk in friendship with the sailor, dropping a drug into his cup, and waiting till his eyes grew dim and ...
— The Pointing Man - A Burmese Mystery • Marjorie Douie

... he was growing older day by day, becoming more and more anxious, more and more absorbed in the great struggle—not for life; that might exhaust a man, but at least it was energetic and noble—but for superfluous wealth, for vanity, for luxury, which, for his own part, he cared nothing for, and which he purchased dearly, spurred on to exertion by those near to him, who ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... of that saintly light Was to the sun, that fills it, turn'd again, As to the good, whose plenitude of bliss Sufficeth all. O ye misguided souls! Infatuate, who from such a good estrange Your hearts, and bend your gaze on vanity, Alas for you!—And lo! toward me, next, Another of those splendent forms approach'd, That, by its outward bright'ning, testified The will it had to pleasure me. The eyes Of Beatrice, resting, as before, Firmly upon me, manifested forth Approval of my wish. "And ...
— The Divine Comedy, Complete - The Vision of Paradise, Purgatory and Hell • Dante Alighieri

... cured of vanity or presumption by studying the history of music, and by hearing the master pieces which have been produced ...
— Advice to Young Musicians. Musikalische Haus- und Lebens-Regeln • Robert Schumann

... again, in foolish Thing that I am! which this nice, [del. 4th] {un-nice,} Gentleman wou'd advise you to change, into foolish that I am! He does not seem to have tasted the pretty Contempt of Herself, the submissive Diminutive, so distant from Vanity, yet allayed by the gentle Reluctance in Self-condemnation [del. 4th] {;—-and the other fine Touches of Nature: which wou'd All have been lost, in the grave, sober Sound of ...
— Samuel Richardson's Introduction to Pamela • Samuel Richardson

... woman to be silly and vain about her beauty. But vanity and conceit are qualities that exist in people quite independently of their gifts and graces. The ugly and stupid are perhaps more often conceited than the beautiful or the clever,—vain, it would appear, of their very ugliness and stupidity. Besides, is it ...
— Prose Fancies • Richard Le Gallienne

... to the line. The Blues cheered as he raised his gun. He turned with a grand bow, and levelled his piece once more. But triumph is not always victory. His previous fine shooting had aroused his vanity, and now the girls' applause quite flustered him. He missed his aim! Worse still, not being learned in the polite art of mastering his feelings, he became vexed, and in the next round actually missed ...
— Donald and Dorothy • Mary Mapes Dodge

... friendly feeling between Morris and the boys increasing, for the mathematical master, with all his weakness and vanity, felt at heart somewhat touched by the respect and deference paid to ...
— Glyn Severn's Schooldays • George Manville Fenn

... thy more retired condition, arguings, strugglings, and strivings with thy spirit to persuade thee of the vanity of what vain things thou lovest, and to win thee in thy soul to a choice of Christ Jesus and his heavenly things? Take heed and rebel not, for the day of God's grace and patience will not be past with thee till he saith his "Spirit shall strive no ...
— The Jerusalem Sinner Saved • John Bunyan

... Robert spoke he approached a looking-glass, before which he presented himself, and commenced adjusting his dress, especially his wig, a piece of vanity which nettled the quick and irritable feelings of the squire exceedingly. The inference he drew was, that this wealthy suitor of his daughter felt more about his own personal appearance before her than about the dreadful fate which he ...
— Willy Reilly - The Works of William Carleton, Volume One • William Carleton

... she said slowly, "why you don't act like other people. Toward me, for example. The way you live gives you what other people have to get in crazy ways—making their work feed their vanity, and justify pride, and make them feel significant. But you can put your ...
— This World Is Taboo • Murray Leinster

... solving of any difficulty under the colorable pretext that it is a question about shadows, and not about substances, and one therefore which it is creditable to a man's good sense to decline; a pleasant sophism this, which at the same time flatters a man's indolence and his vanity. For once, however, I repeat that I am not sorry to hear such a phrase in your mouth, Phaedrus: I have heard it from you before; and I will frankly tell you that you ought to be ashamed of such a plea, which is becoming to a slothful intellect, but very unbecoming to yours. On this account, it ...
— Memorials and Other Papers • Thomas de Quincey

... found that my master had actually begun to build the lonely cottage, other feelings mixed with those I have described. Revenge, and calculations of interest, were added to flattered vanity and sincere gratitude for kindness. I knew nothing would enrage Dr. Flint so much as to know that I favored another, and it was something to triumph over my tyrant even in that small way. I thought ...
— Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl - Written by Herself • Harriet Jacobs (AKA Linda Brent)

... there is a frost; the Samoa book can only increase that—I can't help it, that book is not written for me but for Miss Manners; but I mean to break that frost inside two years, and pull off a big success, and Vanity whispers in my ear that I have the strength. If I haven't, whistle ower the lave o't! I can do without glory and perhaps the time is not far off when I can do without coin. It is a time coming soon enough, anyway; and I have endured some two and forty years without public shame, ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 25 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... for two days. The vanity for which she did penance whenever her madonna loveliness, consummated by the white robe and veil of her novitiate, tempted her to one of the little mirrors in the pupil's dormitory, was powerless to check the blighting flow. There had been moments when she had argued that her vanity ...
— The Spinner's Book of Fiction • Various

... thereby taught, in his meditations, to slap, with similar heedlessness, his own sadder fortunes, as of still less vital consideration. To these muddy philosophers, men and bricks were equally of clay. "What signifies who we be—dukes or ditchers?" thought the moulders; "all is vanity and clay." ...
— Israel Potter • Herman Melville

... coming to Solomon's judgment," said the other, leaning back upon the cushions and clasping his hands above his head,—"what the preacher says—'Vanity of ...
— Nobody • Susan Warner

... drawn into the war if it was once started. Black Hawk's first move with his band in the spring of 1832 was to visit Keokuk's village, set up his war post and call for recruits. He wore a British uniform and displayed a British flag. This foolishness and gratification of vanity cost him dearly in the end. He made an impassioned speech and wrought the Indians up to such enthusiasm that they demanded that Keokuk join with Black Hawk. It was a critical moment for the young chief—even his life was in danger; but he was a more skillful master ...
— Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 7 • Charles H. Sylvester

... indifferent to women, for the most part," the doctor said thoughtfully. "He is so free from vanity, and at the same time so reserved, that one has difficulty in ...
— A Woman Named Smith • Marie Conway Oemler

... contempt for the bike, she displayed even more anxiety than Pa. With those fat freaks at the Castle and if engagements continued scarce, how would they manage, later on, lost in that huge London, with no money, and a child to feed? Her vanity was wounded as well. She had dreamed of dazzling her sister-in-law, making them all burst with jealousy over the splendid engagement at the Castle; and now everything was slipping from their hands, on the very day of their arrival, and there was nothing for them but to sit ...
— The Bill-Toppers • Andre Castaigne

... with affectionate eagerness as they entered, and embraced them one after the other, kissing them on the cheek; "her little prodigals returning to the house of their father and mother, after feeding on the husks of vanity in the gay world which was never ...
— The Golden Dog - Le Chien d'Or • William Kirby

... under foot the throne; but finding he could not succeed in forming a Republican Government in France as he had in America, he, like many others, lost his popularity with the demagogues, and, when too late, came to offer his services, through me, to the Queen, to recruit a monarchy which his vanity had undermined to gratify, his chimerical ambition. Her Majesty certainly saw him frequently, but never again would she put herself in the way of being betrayed by one whom ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... low. 'Two such ladies, in the snow, here! at Fort Washington! The charms of the surprise is manifold. What has procured it? mercy, or vanity? One or the other it must be. A sick friend?or a French mantua-maker? But you are never going to drive back to New York in ...
— The Gold of Chickaree • Susan Warner

... it, may denote either the purpose of creation, or the effect of any temporary compulsion: as, "We are made to be serviceable to others."—Murray's Key, 8vo, p. 167. "Man was made to mourn."—Burns. "Taste was never made to cater for vanity."—Blair. The primitive word make seldom, if ever, produces a construction that is thus equivocal. The infinitive following it without to, always denotes the effect of the making, and not the purpose of the maker; as, "He made his son Skjoeld ...
— The Grammar of English Grammars • Goold Brown

... into fashion. She was moving slowly and in the manner of a person not accustomed to walking. She was a lady—Lynde saw that at a glance—probably some city-bred bird of passage, resting for the summer in this vale of health. His youthful vanity took alarm as he reflected what a comical picture he must present with that old saddle on his back. He would have dumped it into the barberry-bushes if he could have done so unobserved; but it was now ...
— The Queen of Sheba & My Cousin the Colonel • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... himself." I take the words from a late book on the so-called art of the mime by the editor of a magazine devoted to the stage. The learned author evades plumbing the psychological springs of this astounding and almost invariable vanity, this endless bumptiousness of the cabotin in all climes and all ages. His one attempt is banal: "a foolish public makes much of him." With all due respect, Nonsense! The larval actor is full of hot and rancid gases long before a foolish ...
— Damn! - A Book of Calumny • Henry Louis Mencken

... from one end to the other, to put yourself in the way of receiving it. You have as many addresses in your chest as James the Second. As to what were your views (for if you are not great enough to have ambition, you are little enough to have vanity) they can not be directly inferred from expressions of your own; but the partisans of your politics have ...
— Washington and the American Republic, Vol. 3. • Benson J. Lossing

... ounces of gold in it. He told me he had found it on the Shotover River, in New Zealand. I didn't know what to say or do at first, and then he paid me such a compliment that I fairly tingled all over with vanity. 'Sure an' ye'll take the wee bit av a stone from me, miss,' he said. 'I'm a Kerry man meself, an' when I heard yez singin' "The Kerry Dance," meself and half a dozen more men from the oold sod felt that if ye were ...
— Chinkie's Flat and Other Stories - 1904 • Louis Becke

... say," adds Annie Firmin, "that Mr. Ed married her for her beautiful hair, it was auburn, and very long and wavy. He used to sit behind her in Church. She liked pretty clothes, but lacked the vanity to buy them for herself. I have a little blue hanging watch that he bought her one ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Maisie Ward

... swarthy face stiffened and his teeth bared themselves in a snarl of hurt vanity, but as he started to speak he changed his mind and sat for a while silent, watching the splendid figure she made as she leaned against the tree with a breast rising and falling to the storm tide ...
— The Roof Tree • Charles Neville Buck

... mad whirl of life, its dim confusion, Its jarring discords and poor vanity, Breathing like music over troubled waters, What gentle voice, ...
— The May Flower, and Miscellaneous Writings • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... disappointment and hurt vanity, and remarked: "No, I came on Friday." (He laid some ...
— Ladies-In-Waiting • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... enrolled among the Salaminian demots. The dispersion of his ashes connecting him with the island as its oecist, may be construed, if not as the expression of a public vote, at least as a piece of affectionate vanity on the part of ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 1 • Various

... reflect upon you. Pardon my frankness but I know your type well. You are a disciple of this individual freedom cult which has swept the world. You have regarded rules as being made only for the thrill and pleasure of breaking. It has pleased your vanity that Mr. Mooney should have chosen your company rather than the observance of football regulations, A loyal Elliott girl, having a friend on the team, would have insisted on keeping training rules with him. But, not you! You've been a thoughtless ...
— Interference and Other Football Stories • Harold M. Sherman

... kings, which are mainly three: nay, he openly violated them (in this he did wrong, and acted in a manner unworthy of a philosopher, by indulging in sensual pleasure), and taught that all Fortune's favours to mankind are vanity, that humanity has no nobler gift than wisdom, and no greater punishment than folly. (112) See ...
— A Theologico-Political Treatise [Part I] • Benedict de Spinoza

... to me to observe the almost imperceptible, but not less certain effect, wrought by this institution among the small community of Boston; and to note at every turn the humanising tastes and desires it has engendered; the affectionate friendships to which it has given rise; the amount of vanity and prejudice it has dispelled. The golden calf they worship at Boston is a pigmy compared with the giant effigies set up in other parts of that vast counting-house which lies beyond the Atlantic; and the almighty dollar sinks into ...
— American Notes for General Circulation • Charles Dickens

... humble opinion of Ch'i-chao, the troops are now all fully inspired with a sense of obedience to the Chief Executive. Who then can claim the right to drag our Great President into unrighteousness for the sake of vanity and vainglory? Who will dare disobey the behests of the Great President if he should elect to open his heart and follow the path of honour and unbroken vows? If to-day, as Head of the nation, he ...
— The Fight For The Republic in China • Bertram Lenox Putnam Weale

... a hard blow to my vanity that you r-ran. See, I tr-ry to comfort myself in this question: Perhaps you did not know it was I ...
— A Tar-Heel Baron • Mabell Shippie Clarke Pelton

... up a place to sleep in; this lodging she occupied some time, and he used to bring her forth at whiles with secrecy at night. I meanwhile having brought this part of the Colossus almost to completion, left it alone, and indulged my vanity a bit by exposing it to sight; it could, indeed be seen by more than half Paris. The neighbours, therefore, took to climbing their house-roofs, and crowds came on purpose to enjoy the spectacle. Now there was a legend in the city that my castle had from olden ...
— The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini • Benvenuto Cellini

... have the Vanity to hope your Approbation of this Comedy, 'twou'd be so current a Stamp to it, that none, who have the Honour to know You, wou'd pretend to dispute it's Merit; but tho' I'm satisfy'd in Your good Nature, I must be ...
— The Fine Lady's Airs (1709) • Thomas Baker

... good graces. The paternal wrath subsided in face of the famous sculptor's authority. All Besancon congratulated itself on having brought forth a future great man. In the first outburst of delight due to his flattered vanity, the miserly attorney supplied his son with the means to appear to advantage in society. The long and laborious study demanded by the sculptor's profession subdued for a long time Sarrasine's impetuous temperament and unruly genius. Bouchardon, foreseeing how violently the ...
— Sarrasine • Honore de Balzac

... Mr. Simpson in his "Philosophy of Education," "embraces both the animal and moral impulses. It regulates the former, and strengthens the latter, whenever gluttony, indelicacy, violence, cruelty, greediness, cowardice, pride, insolence, vanity, or any mode of selfishness shew themselves in the individual under training, one and all must be repressed with the most watchful solicitude, and the most skilful treatment. Repression may at first fail to be accomplished, unless by severity; but the instructor sufficiently enlightened ...
— The Infant System - For Developing the Intellectual and Moral Powers of all Children, - from One to Seven years of Age • Samuel Wilderspin

... of human action, that he is most interesting; that he becomes the unique, the incomparable Marcus Aurelius. Christianity uses language very liable to be misunderstood when it seems to tell men to do good, not, certainly, from the vulgar motives of worldly interest, or vanity, or love of human praise, but "that their Father which, seeth in secret may reward them openly." The motives of reward and punishment have come, from the misconception of language of this kind, to be strangely overpressed by many Christian moralists, ...
— Selections from the Prose Works of Matthew Arnold • Matthew Arnold

... my vanity the worst blow it has ever had in its life," David corrected her. "Look here, Margaret, I want you to know the truth about that. I—I stumbled into that, you know. She was so sweet, and before I knew it I had—I found myself in the attitude of making love to her. Well, ...
— Turn About Eleanor • Ethel M. Kelley

... Robbie to the gate to beckon you to be quick? You suppose you may do as you like, but you are mistaken, you lazy, ill-behaved wench. The new frock I had bought you shall be given to Nannie Cameron, and you shall wear your old one to the kirk. How will that suit your vanity? And you may be off to bed now directly, without any supper. There are twigs enough for a birch rod, my lady, if bed does not bring you to a better frame of mind. Run in now, and don't let me see your face before ...
— Little Folks (July 1884) - A Magazine for the Young • Various

... had the vanity which all actors possess, was flattered by the compliment, and but poorly ...
— The Mystery of Orcival • Emile Gaboriau

... a compound of peculiarities, like most men who are put into the world to do something great. He was amusingly vain, while his dainty vanity so obscured his judgment that he could not see through the most fulsome flattery, especially that of women. At the same time he was professionally keen, with a clear-seeing intellect, dashing, flawless courage, and a mind that quickly grasped the ...
— Drake, Nelson and Napoleon • Walter Runciman

... disposed to scoff at religion, and to work on Sundays, though not so openly as on other days of the week. He went to church now because he was proud of his wife; not out of devotion, but vanity. ...
— The Broom-Squire • S. (Sabine) Baring-Gould

... who look on their profession, not as a means of displaying their learning, but as a rule for their own practice! who follow their own precepts, and comply with their own decrees! You may see some of such levity and such vanity, that it would have been better for them to have been ignorant; some covetous of money, some others eager for glory, many slaves to their lusts; so that their discourses and their actions are most strangely at variance; than which nothing in my opinion can be ...
— Cicero's Tusculan Disputations - Also, Treatises On The Nature Of The Gods, And On The Commonwealth • Marcus Tullius Cicero

... name and address, "Whewel. Coggershall," blazoned on its brass face, told the time, just as it had told the time when the Regent was ruling at St. James's in those days which seem so spacious, yet so trivial in their pomp and vanity. ...
— The Ghost Girl • H. De Vere Stacpoole

... Helene de St. Gre at last. And what a fool she must think me! As I hurried along the dark banquettes this thought filled my brain for a time to the exclusion of all others, so strongly is vanity ingrained in us. After all, what did it matter what she thought,—Madame la Vicomtesse d'Ivry-le-Tour? I had never shone, and it was rather late to begin. But I possessed, at least, average common sense, and I had given no proof even ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... Hodder, outgrown the dean's religion, or had it ever been his own? Was there, after all, such a thing as religion? Might it not be merely a figment of the fertile imagination of man? He did not escape the terror of this thought when he paused to consider his labour of the past two years and the vanity of its results. And little by little the feeling grew upon him, such being the state of his mind, that he ought not to continue, for the present at least, to conduct the services. Should he resign, or go away for a while to ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... lines, which I enclose to you, as I think they have a good deal of poetic merit; and Miss Nimmo tells me that you are not only a critic but a poetess. Fiction, you know, is the native region of poetry; and I hope you will pardon my vanity in sending you the bagatelle as a tolerable offhand jeu d'esprit. I have several poetic trifles, which I shall gladly leave with Miss Nimmo or you, if they were worth house-room; as there are scarcely two people on earth by whom ...
— Robert Burns - How To Know Him • William Allan Neilson

... with gratified vanity. She wore an exquisite gown of white silk and lace made in an apparently simple but very smart fashion, which revealed the pure beauty of her white throat and rounded arms, increasing her loveliness tenfold. She wore white silk stockings and ...
— Grace Harlowe's Return to Overton Campus • Jessie Graham Flower

... Song Enwrap our fancy long, Time will run back, and fetch the age of gold, And speckl'd vanity Will sicken soon and die, And leprous sin will melt from earthly mould, And Hell it self will pass away And leave her dolorous mansions to the peering ...
— The Poetical Works of John Milton • John Milton

... on record was a ship constructed for Ptolemy Philopater, which had forty banks of oars. This vessel was rather a royal yacht, built to gratify the vanity of the court, than a ship intended for any useful purpose. It was 424 feet in length, and 58 broad. The height of the forecastle from the water was 60 feet. The longest oars were 58 feet, and their handles ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Vol. 56, No. 346, August, 1844 • Various

... almost with contempt, and readily admits the superiority of a Briton, on the seas and elsewhere. One loves to meet with such genuine liberality in a foreigner, and respects the man who can sacrifice vanity to truth. This distinguished foreigner has travelled much; he asks whither you are going?—where you stop? if you have a great quantity of luggage on board?—and laughs when he hears of the twenty-seven packages, and hopes you have some friend at the custom-house, who can spare ...
— The Paris Sketch Book Of Mr. M. A. Titmarsh • William Makepeace Thackeray

... to dig a grave, to prepare wood for a funeral pile, and bring marble to cover his remains. Meanwhile he piteously bewailed his unhappy lot; sighed and shed tears copiously; and said, with a last impulse of vanity, "What a musician ...
— Historic Tales, Volume 11 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality • Charles Morris

... me, to make me see company, and to take me abroad. She took an inordinate pride in that beauty with which God had formed me, to bless and praise Him. However it was perverted by me into a source of pride and vanity. Several suitors came to me; but as I was not yet twelve years my father would not listen to any proposals. I loved reading and shut myself up alone every ...
— The Autobiography of Madame Guyon • Jeanne Marie Bouvier de La Motte Guyon

... splendour, and to predict its probable destruction. Moreover she thought it rude in him that he had no word of praise for her own brilliant beauty, nor a glance of astonishment for her gorgeous palace. Her offended vanity induced her at last to force from him the praise he so obstinately withheld. "O, gracious Lady," said he rather reluctantly, "marvellous indeed is your home and fit for a queen. If you travelled far and near, you could not find its equal. But, my lady, among ...
— Legends of the Rhine • Wilhelm Ruland

... themselves when they need it. Who supports the people's widows and orphans? It is too lamentable a fact that too many ministers do not accustom their children to labor, but indulge them in their pride, vanity, indolence, and in the imitation of rich, proud, and pompous people of the world. Behold how many ministers with their wives, in our time, surpassing humility—how grand their attire, how lofty their appearance, how great ...
— American Lutheranism - Volume 1: Early History of American Lutheranism and The Tennessee Synod • Friedrich Bente

... affairs, Mango sent his brother with an army to besiege Bagdad; and Oulagon, raising his banner, marched towards the city of the caliph. Now it happened that Musteazem, being at once under the influence of the most egregious vanity and of the most sordid avarice, neither believed in his danger, nor had the heart to expend money to provide the means of defence, but devoted to the hoarding of the jewels, gold, and treasures with which his palace abounded, the whole time that should have ...
— The Boy Crusaders - A Story of the Days of Louis IX. • John G. Edgar

... long and continued watches or vigils he had had; and in this place he says thus: "May it please our Lord to free me from this malady," he says. "He well knows that I did not suffer these fatigues in order to find treasures for myself, since surely I recognize that all is vanity which is done in this age, save that which is for the honor and service of God, which is not to amass pomps or riches, nor the many other things we use in this world, in which we are more inclined than to the things which can save us." These ...
— The Northmen, Columbus and Cabot, 985-1503 • Various

... Heraclitus and Democritus are to be one lot that laughter and tears will go together (Sale of Creeds, l3)—accords with our views of the emotional temperament. Chiron is impressive on the vanity of fruition (Dialogues of the Dead, 26). And the figuring of Truth as 'the shadowy creature with the indefinite complexion' (The Fisher, 16) is only one example ...
— Works, V1 • Lucian of Samosata

... very different temper. With this man's knavery was strangely mingled an eccentric vanity which resembled madness. The thought that he had raised a rebellion and bestowed a crown had turned his head. He swaggered about, brandishing his naked sword, and crying to the crowd of spectators who had ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 1 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... anyone—but they do not understand peace as involving either mutual concessions or a balance of armaments. They want to be feared and they are at present engaged in making the necessary sacrifices. If on some occasion their national vanity is wounded, the confidence which the country will feel in the enormous superiority of its army will be favorable to an explosion of national anger, in the face of which the moderation of the Imperial ...
— The Story of the Great War, Volume I (of 8) - Introductions; Special Articles; Causes of War; Diplomatic and State Papers • Various

... surrounds herself. Everything about her pleases the eye; in her presence you breathe, as it were, your native air. This woman is natural. There is no effort about her; she is aiming at no effect; her feelings are shown simply, because they are true. Frank herself, she does not wound the vanity of others; she accepts men as God made them; pitying the vicious, forgiving defects and absurdities, comprehending all ages, and vexed by nothing, because she has had the sense and tact to foresee all. Tender and gay, she gratifies before she consoles. You ...
— Madame Firmiani • Honore de Balzac

... himself—"the most valorous adventurer!"—but it is not himself that he has before him, but the idol of his imagination, the imaginary being whom he is acting. And this, that it is entirely a third person, excuses his heart from the otherwise inevitable charge of selfish vanity; and so by madness itself he preserves our esteem, and renders those actions natural by which he, the first ...
— Literary Remains (1) • Coleridge

... mournfully, but with little wish to gather them up again. Her husband never asked an explanation of this strange mood in his wife, but at times he seemed perfectly conscious of it, and to feel a hidden pleasure in her depression; for, though he did not love this woman, the old man's vanity was as quick as ever, and it pleased him to see that her own soul was taking the vengeance on itself that he had bartered off for a price. Miserable, selfish, old man! All the gold of his life had turned to paltry ...
— Mabel's Mistake • Ann S. Stephens

... but vanity in beauty, And nought but weakness in a fond caress, And pitied men whose views of Christian duty ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 22, Aug., 1859 • Various

... with indignation I have hurl'd At the pretending part of this proud world, Who, swollen with selfish vanity, devise False freedoms, formal cheats, and holy lies, Over ...
— The Romany Rye - A Sequel to 'Lavengro' • George Borrow

... although about the same age. Naturally reverent, she had been raised in a family where religious observances never remitted; where grace was always spoken. In this home her looks were seldom alluded to in any way, and vanity was not in her. She had her lovelinesses; her hair was long and fair, her eyes were beautiful, and her skin was of exquisite purity, like her eyes. Her charm lay in her modesty and quaint dignity, her grave and gentle gaze, and ...
— The Eagle's Heart • Hamlin Garland

... his country during the late war, or a sort of fermentation-product, to mix the figure, of a banal heresy launched upon him recently by his wife. This is the penalty that the man of intellectual curiosity and vanity pays for his violation of the divine edict that what has been revealed from Sinai shall suffice for him, and for his resistance to the natural process which seeks to reduce him to the respectable level of a ...
— In Defense of Women • H. L. Mencken

... obliged to yield; not to me, nor to my powers of persuasion, but to the holy truth of which I was then the advocate. The child came, and I was there also to receive him, and to enforce by my presence—which I saw without vanity had great influence—a fitting reception. He was a pensive, clever, interesting little fellow; sensitive and affectionate, timid, gifted with wonderful powers, and of great beauty. There was a shy look in his eyes, which made me sure that he inherited ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 424, New Series, February 14, 1852 • Various



Words linked to "Vanity" :   dressing table, dresser, narcissism, toilet table, vainglory, worthlessness, emptiness, self-love, trait, pride, humility, posturing



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