van·​ish ˈva-nish How to pronounce vanish (audio)
vanished; vanishing; vanishes

intransitive verb

: to pass quickly from sight : disappear
: to pass completely from existence
: to assume the value zero

transitive verb

: to cause to disappear
vanisher noun

Example Sentences

The missing girl vanished without a trace a year ago. The papers seem to have vanished into thin air. Dinosaurs vanished from the face of the earth millions of years ago.
Recent Examples on the Web Half of them will disappear by the end of this century, and much of the lost ice will vanish from mountains in Alaska, scientists say. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, 14 Jan. 2023 The once-highflying company filed for bankruptcy, leaving everyone from individual investors to pros with losses and questioning how billions of dollars appeared to vanish from the company. Gunjan Banerji, WSJ, 5 Dec. 2022 During the McCarthy era, many successful writers, actors, and filmmakers in Hollywood saw their careers vanish from such testimonies, but Monroe remained loyal and supportive of her husband through the trials. ELLE, 29 Sep. 2022 The Washington Monument appeared to vanish in the morning from the city’s skyline, and what seemed to be a cottony blanket covered the surface of the Potomac River at times. Martin Weil, Washington Post, 1 Jan. 2023 Our modern rivers are also much more likely to vanish in drought or else catastrophically flood. Richard Adams Carey, WSJ, 2 Dec. 2022 As these jobs vanish in favor of blue-collar workers at more manageable costs, that pipeline to the middle class could be chopped at the knees, reports The Financial Times. Trey Williams, Fortune, 9 Nov. 2022 Colors, textures, motifs and gestures emerge, combine and vanish in rapid and dizzying swirls and crunches. Dallas News, 18 Mar. 2022 On top of that, people can also send ephemeral texts, which vanish after a specified amount of time. Chris Smith, BGR, 13 Dec. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vanish.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English vanisshen, borrowed from Anglo-French vaniss- stem of vanir, envanir, esvanir, going back to Vulgar Latin *exvānīre, restructuring of Latin ēvānēscere "to fade away, disappear," from ē- e- entry 1 + vānēscere "to pass from existence," inchoative verb derivative of vānus "empty, lacking content" — more at wane entry 1

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of vanish was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near vanish

Cite this Entry

“Vanish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


van·​ish ˈvan-ish How to pronounce vanish (audio)
: to pass from sight or existence
vanisher noun

More from Merriam-Webster on vanish

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