Vain, Vane or Vein?

J. Cheney

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1. Vain is used as an adjective to mean: without much value or significance; excessively proud or concerned about one's own appearance, personal qualities or achievements. The expression "in vain" as in "I argued in vain" means without achieving one's purpose.

2. Vane, a noun, most frequently refers to a device used to determine the direction of wind.

3. Vein as a noun refers to blood vessels that carry blood from various body parts to the heart. Similarly, veins also are tissues that form the principal framework of a leaf or line-markings in marble or rocks. Also, vein means a condition or manner (as in "in a serious vein.") As a verb vein means to supply with veins.

  1. Carly Simon sings, "You're so (vain, vane, vein). You probably think this song is about you."
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  3. As we drove along the rural roads, we spotted several weather (vains, vanes, veins) atop the roofs of old houses.
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  5. Lauren made a (vain, vane, vein) attempt to convince her landlord not to raise the rent for the second time that year.
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  7. From the top of the 14-storied building, the streets below were spread out like (vains, vanes, veins)in a body.
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  9. Feeling ill at ease among her former classmates whom she had not seen in several months, the young woman spoke (vainly, vanely, veinly) about herself as their attention drifted to other thoughts.
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