va·​pid | \ ˈva-pəd How to pronounce vapid (audio) , ˈvā- How to pronounce vapid (audio) \

Definition of vapid

: lacking flavor, zest, interest, animation, or spirit : flat, dull a gossipy, vapid woman, obsessed by her own elegance— R. F. Delderfield London was not all vapid dissipation— V. S. Pritchett

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Other Words from vapid

vapidly adverb
vapidness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for vapid

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 flat jejune 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, 2001 In 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
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Recent Examples on the Web Were these claims merely vapid that would be bad enough. David Robert Grimes, Scientific American, "COVID Has Created a Perfect Storm for Fringe Science," 26 Apr. 2021 The thrills are simplistic, and the conversations are vapid. Reece Rogers, Wired, "Raptor Boyfriend Proves Absurd Dating Sims Are Here to Stay," 11 Mar. 2021 By her estimate, dressing and socializing consumed two-thirds of the time of well-off women—making them as vapid as they were presumed to be. Dorothy Wickenden, The New Yorker, "The Pre-Civil War Fight Against White Supremacy," 18 Jan. 2021 Its authors speak more in the vapid America-can-do-no-wrong dialect of a CNN panel. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, "The New Language of Forever War-Making," 17 Dec. 2020 As the Communist Party has tightened control over media, and China’s vapid pop culture has become ever more shallow in response, podcasts have become a niche where thinking people can find unexpected, and sometimes controversial, content. The Economist, "Listening in Podcasting provides a space for free thought in China," 27 Aug. 2020 Brenda, who helped her husband Morty (Dan Hedaya) build his business from the ground up, is stunned when his sudden success and mid-life crisis prompts him to leave her for Sherry (Sarah Jessica Parker), a young, vapid social climber. Anne Cohen,, "The First Wives Club," 2 Apr. 2020 In a vapid moment of scrolling through the news on my phone, my son peeked over my shoulder to see a picture of that spongy ball and its stubby little tendrils. Kyle Whitmire, al, "What I’ll take from the quarantine: My daughter’s first steps," 30 Mar. 2020 Senator Lamar Alexander too acknowledged that these are the facts, only to scurry behind the vapid excuse that this is for the people, not the Senate, to decide. Mona Charen, National Review, "Mitt Romney: A Modern Man for All Seasons," 6 Feb. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of vapid

circa 1656, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for vapid

borrowed from Latin vapidus "(of wine) having lost freshness, flat"; akin to Latin vappa "wine that has gone flat" and perhaps to vapor "exhalation, steam" — more at vapor entry 1

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Time Traveler for vapid

Time Traveler

The first known use of vapid was circa 1656

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Last Updated

29 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vapid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for vapid



English Language Learners Definition of vapid

formal : not lively or interesting : dull or boring

More from Merriam-Webster on vapid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vapid

Nglish: Translation of vapid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vapid for Arabic Speakers

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