insipid, vapid, flat, jejune, banal, inane mean devoid of qualities that make for spirit and character. insipid implies a lack of sufficient taste or savor to please or interest.
an insipid romance with platitudes on every page vapid suggests a lack of liveliness, force, or spirit.
an exciting story given a vapid treatment flat applies to things that have lost their sparkle or zest.
although well-regarded in its day, the novel now seems flatjejune suggests a lack of rewarding or satisfying substance.
a jejune and gassy speech banal stresses the complete absence of freshness, novelty, or immediacy.
a banal tale of unrequited love inane implies a lack of any significant or convincing quality.
an inane interpretation of the play
Did You Know?
Then away goes the brisk and pleasant Spirits and leave a vapid or sour Drink. So wrote John Mortimer, an early 18th-century expert on agriculture, orchards, and cider-making, in his book on husbandry. His use was typical for his day, when vapid was often used specifically in reference to liquor. The term, which entered English in the 17th century, comes from vapidus, a Latin word that means "flat-tasting" and may be related to vapor. These days, you're likely to hear people referring to wine as vapid. You're likely to hear the word in plenty of other situations, too. Vapid, along with the synonyms insipid,flat, and inane, is often used to describe people and things that lack spirit and character.
Examples of vapid in a Sentence
Waiting rooms, as I'm sure you know, are small rooms with plenty of chairs for waiting, as well as piles of old, dull magazines to read and some vapid paintings … while you endure the boredom that doctors and dentists inflict on their patients before bringing them in to poke them and prod them and do all the miserable things that such people are paid to do.— Lemony Snicket, The Ersatz Elevator, 2001In a secular age, symbolic rituals such as lighting the Olympic torch inevitably risk seeming a little vapid.— Tony Perrottet, Civilization, June/July 2000 … the incompetent servant, by whomsoever employed, is always against his employer. Even those born governors, noble and right honourable creatures, who have been the most imbecile in high places, have uniformly shown themselves the most opposed (sometimes in belying distrust, sometimes in vapid insolence) to THEIR employer. What is in such wise true of the public master and servant, is equally true of the private master and servant all the world over.— Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend, 1865
a song with vapid lyrics
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vapid.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.