First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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How to Pronounce Vanity

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Vanity mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Vanity

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Van"i*ty
  1. The quality or state of being vain; want of substance to satisfy desire; emptiness; unsubstantialness; unrealness; falsity." Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity." [Eccl. i. 2.]"Here I may well show the vanity of that which is reported in the story of Walsingham." [Sir J. Davies.]
  2. An inflation of mind upon slight grounds; empty pride inspired by an overweening conceit of one's personal attainments or decorations; an excessive desire for notice or approval; pride; ostentation; conceit."The exquisitely sensitive vanity of Garrick was galled." [Macaulay.]
  3. That which is vain; anything empty, visionary, unreal, or unsubstantial; fruitless desire or effort; trifling labor productive of no good; empty pleasure; vain pursuit; idle show; unsubstantial enjoyment."Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher." [Eccl. i. 2.]" Vanity possesseth many who are desirous to know the certainty of things to come." [Sir P. Sidney.]"Sin] with vanity had filled the works of men." [Milton.]"Think not, when woman's transient breath is fled, That all her vanities at once are dead; Succeeding vanities she still regards." [Pope.]
  4. One of the established characters in the old moralities and puppet shows. See Morality (n.), 5."You . . . take vanity the puppet's part." [Shak.]
  5. same as dressing table.
  6. A cabinet built around a bathroom sink, usually with a countertop and sometimes drawers.
    synonyms: Egotism; pride; emptiness; worthlessness; self-sufficiency. See Egotism, and Pride.

Etymology: OE. vanite, F. vanité, L. vanitas, fr. vanus empty, vain. See Vain

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. Low table with mirror or mirrors where one sits while dressing or applying makeup
  2. The trait of being unduly vain and conceited; false pride
  3. The quality of being valueless or futile
  4. Feelings of excessive pride

From Middle English vanite, from Old French vanité, from Latin vānitas, from vānus, whence English vain.

  1. That which is vain, futile, or worthless; that which is of no value, use or profit.
  2. Excessive pride in or admiration of one's own abilities, appearance or achievements.
  3. A dressing table used to apply makeup, preen, and coif hair. The table is normally quite low and similar to a desk, with drawers and one or more mirrors on top. Either a chair or bench is used to sit upon.
  4. A washbasin installed into a permanently fixed storage unit, used as an item of bathroom furniture.
  5. Emptiness.
  6. (obsolete) Any idea, theory or statement that is without foundation.

Notable Persons Named Vanity

Vanity was a singer–songwriter, actress, model, and dancer. Her ongoing career started in 1977. Vanity was given the name Denise Katrina Matthews on January 4th, 1959 in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Vanity is also known as Denise Matthews–Smith and D.D. Winters. She left this life on February 15th, 2016.


Vanity Lewerissa is a soccer player for the PSV/FC Eindhoven, VVV-Venlo (women), Standard Liège (women), and Netherlands women's national football team. Vanity was born on April 1st, 1991 in Maastricht.


Notable Persons With the Last Name Vanity

Vanity was a singer–songwriter, actress, model, and dancer. Her ongoing career started in 1977. Vanity was given the name Denise Katrina Matthews on January 4th, 1959 in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Vanity is also known as Denise Matthews–Smith and D.D. Winters. She left this life on February 15th, 2016.


How popular is the baby name Vanity in the U.S.?

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Year Total Babies Born Girls Born Boys Born
1982 5 5 0
1983 56 56 0
1984 45 45 0
1985 103 103 0
1986 76 76 0
1987 89 89 0
1988 116 116 0
1989 102 102 0
1990 78 78 0
1991 66 66 0
1992 66 66 0
1993 48 48 0
1994 39 39 0
1995 41 41 0
1996 27 27 0
1997 29 29 0
1998 38 38 0
1999 30 30 0
2000 35 35 0
2001 30 30 0
2002 33 33 0
2003 26 26 0
2004 27 27 0
2005 25 25 0
2006 48 48 0
2007 31 31 0
2008 31 31 0
2009 53 53 0
2010 54 54 0
2011 34 34 0
2012 43 43 0
2013 48 48 0
2014 34 34 0
2015 21 21 0
2016 33 33 0
2017 38 38 0

Where is the name Vanity popular?

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Popularity of Vanity as a first name

The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Vanity as a first name in each of the states. See other popular names in Texas, California, or New York.

Fun Facts about the name Vanity

  • How Popular is the name Vanity? Vanity is the 7,527th most popular name of all time.
  • How many people with the first name Vanity have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 1,698 babies born with the first name Vanity in the United States. That's more than enough people named Vanity to occupy the territory of Christmas Island (Australia) with an estimated population of 1,462 (as of June 30, 2010).
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named Vanity? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1982 when it was given as a first name to 5 new born babies.
  • When was Vanity first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Vanity is Sunday, July 24th, 1887.
  • What year had the most people named Vanity born? The highest recorded use of the first name Vanity was in 1988 with a total of 116 babies.
  • Random Vanity Factoid: According to the 1986 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name Vanity is not a popular baby girl's name in Georgia. Imagine that, only 7 babies in Georgia have the same name as you in 1986.
  • Weird things about the name Vanity: Your name in reverse order is Ytinav. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Ytvnai. How do you pronounce that?

What Vanitys Have Visited This Page?

Name poster for Vanity

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  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • U.S. Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names, Death Master File (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.