Vain vs Exaggerate - What's the difference?

vain | exaggerate |

As a noun vain

is .

As a verb exaggerate is

to overstate, to describe more than is fact.




  • Overly proud of oneself, especially concerning appearance; having a high opinion of one's own accomplishments with slight reason.
  • * (rfdate) Leo Rosten
  • Every writer is a narcissist. This does not mean that he is vain ; it only means that he is hopelessly self-absorbed.
  • Having no real substance, value, or importance; empty; void; worthless; unsatisfying.
  • * (William Shakespeare) (1564-1616)
  • thy vain excuse
  • * Bible, (w) v. 6
  • Let no man deceive you with vain words.
  • * (John Milton) (1608-1674)
  • Vain wisdom all, and false philosophy.
  • Effecting no purpose; pointless, futile.
  • * (John Dryden) (1631-1700)
  • Vain is the force of man / To crush the pillars which the pile sustain.
  • * (rfdate) William of Occam
  • It is vain to do with more what can be done with fewer.
  • *{{quote-book, year=1922, author=(Ben Travers)
  • , chapter=6, title= A Cuckoo in the Nest , passage=But Sophia's mother was not the woman to brook defiance. After a few moments' vain remonstrance her husband complied. His manner and appearance were suggestive of a satiated sea-lion.}}
  • Showy; ostentatious.
  • * (Alexander Pope) (1688-1744)
  • Load some vain church with old theatric state.


    * (overly proud of oneself) conceited; puffed up; inflated * (pointless) pointless, futile, fruitless, ineffectual * See also * See also

    Derived terms

    * in vain * vainness * vainly




  • To overstate, to describe more than is fact.
  • I've told you a billion times not to exaggerate !
    He said he'd slept with hundreds of girls, but I know he's exaggerating . The real number is about ten.


    * overexaggerate * overstate


    * (overstate) downplay, understate

    Derived terms

    * exaggeratedly * exaggeratingly * exaggerative * exaggeratively * exaggerativeness * exaggerator * exaggeratory