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Vanity, 1) empty and vain pursuit, frivolity; subjectively and objectively: “for your writing and reading, let that appear when there is no need of such v.” Ado III, 3, 22. “where doth the world thrust forth a v.” R2 II, 1, 24. “light v., insatiate cormorant, consuming means, soon preys upon itself,” R2 II, 1, 24 “trouble me no more with v.” H4A I, 2, 92. “that v. in years,” II, 4, 500. “there's honour for you! here's no v.” V, 3, 33. “if I were much in love with v.” V, 4, 106. “up, v.! down, royal state!” H4B IV, 5, 120. “the tide of blood in me hath proudly flowed in v.” V, 2, 130. “matching to his youth and v.” H5 II, 4, 130. “to stay him from the fall of v.” R3 III, 7, 97. “what did this v. but minister communication of a most poor issue?” H8 I, 1, 85. “O heavy lightness, serious v.” Rom. I, 1, 184. “so light is v.” II, 6, 20. “what a sweep of v. comes this way,” Tim. I, 2, 137. “take v. the puppet's part against the royalty of her father,” Lr. II, 2, 39. “to do the act . . . not the world's mass of v. could make me,” Oth. IV, 2, 164. Plur. --es: “thy violent --es can never last,” Lucr. 894. “I can no longer brook thy --es,” H4A V, 4, 74. “you shall find his --es forespent were but the outside of the Roman Brutus,” H5 II, 4, 36. “what had he to do in these fierce --es,” H8 I, 1, 54. “these trim --es,” I, 3, 38. “nor my wishes more worth than empty --es,” II, 3, 69. R2 III, 4, 86.
2) empty and vain conceit, illusion, deception: “I must bestow upon the eyes of this young couple some v. of mine art,” Tp. IV, 41 (some illusion produced by my art. Or simply == trifle?). “O heaven, the v. of wretched fools,” Meas. V, 164. “my fore-past proofs . . . shall tax my fears of little v., having vainly feared too little,” All's V, 3, 122. “even now he sung. O v. of sickness! fierce extremes in their continuance will not feel themselves,” John V, 7, 13.
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