vain·​glo·​ry ˈvān-ˌglȯr-ē How to pronounce vainglory (audio)
: excessive or ostentatious pride especially in one's achievements
: vain display or show : vanity

Examples of vainglory in a Sentence

the vainglory that nations have historically shown after they have achieved military supremacy
Recent Examples on the Web The conceit is saved from vainglory by the gravity Cage brings to the performance. Isaac Butler, The New Yorker, 1 Dec. 2023 That’s the mantra for wide receivers, a group long known for their vainglory. Steve Henson, Los Angeles Times, 8 Sep. 2023 Cuevas excels at spotlighting vainglory, and there’s plenty to go around here. Chris Vognar, Rolling Stone, 27 July 2023 More likely, the 70-year-old former cricketer’s vainglory and taste for brinkmanship could tip an already turbulent nation into chaos. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, 10 Nov. 2022 The best reason to pursue anarchism, to walk that line between chaos and the man, is that none of us is free from greed or vainglory. Alan Jacobs, Harper’s Magazine , 9 Nov. 2022 For all his vainglory, Mitchell was onto something in betting on a race as an aeronautical showcase. Michael O’Donnell, WSJ, 18 Nov. 2022 Behind closed doors, people are nervously voicing that the annual grandstanding on stage has shifted too much towards vainglory, rather than progress against staggering challenges. Charles Beames, Forbes, 31 Aug. 2021 Vidal gives wicked, witty renditions of the infighting, backstabbing and vainglory of such troublesome men as Gen. George B. McClellan, Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase and John Wilkes Booth. Katherine A. Powers, Star Tribune, 6 Nov. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'vainglory.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English vaynglorie, borrowed from Anglo-French veineglorie, from veine, feminine of vain, vein vain + glorie glory entry 1, after Medieval Latin vāna glōria

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of vainglory was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near vainglory

Cite this Entry

“Vainglory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


vain·​glo·​ry ˈvān-ˌglōr-ē How to pronounce vainglory (audio)
: too much pride especially in what one has done
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