Definition of vanish in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈvaniSH/


[no object]
1Disappear suddenly and completely: Mary vanished without a trace
More example sentences
  • I was confident until the moment I took my turn and stood there alone in front of the class, when the lyrics suddenly vanished from my brain.
  • Her smile suddenly vanished from her face and she took a step back.
  • Her words trailed off to a whisper as she suddenly vanished into nowhere.
disappear, be lost to sight/view, become invisible, vanish into thin air, recede from view, dematerialize
1.1Gradually cease to exist: the days of the extended family are vanishing
More example sentences
  • Adyar Creek is one such open space, which is gradually vanishing from the city map.
  • As he put more distance between him and his family, the ache in his bones gradually vanished.
  • The US corporate owners won't be needed, and their firms will gradually find their sales drying up, their market share vanishing, and their stock tanking.
fade, fade away, evaporate, vaporize, melt away, come to an end, end, cease to exist, pass away, die out, be no more
2 Mathematics Become zero.
Example sentences
  • In mathematics, a root (or a zero) of a complex-valued function f is a member x of the domain of f such that f(x) vanishes at x.
  • There are no non-zero harmonic forms and so by Hodge theory the first Betti number vanishes.


Middle English: shortening of Old French e(s)vaniss-, lengthened stem of e(s)vanir, from Latin evanescere 'die away'.

  • vanity from Middle English:

    In early use vanity meant ‘futility, worthlessness’, with the idea of being conceited recorded a century later. This is the quality condemned in ‘Vanity of vanities; all is vanity’ from the biblical book of Ecclesiastes. The source of the word is Latin vanus ‘empty, without substance’, also the source of vain (Middle English) and vanish (Middle English). In The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan, published in 1678, Vanity Fair is held in the town of Vanity, through which pilgrims pass on their way to the Eternal City. All kinds of ‘vanity’, things of no real value, were on sale at the fair. The 19th century took the name Vanity Fair to represent the world as a place of frivolity and idle amusement, most notably in Thackeray's novel Vanity Fair (1847–48). Vanity Fair has been the title of four magazines since the 1850s, in particular the current US one founded in 1914. From its earliest appearance in around 1300 vain has meant ‘lacking real worth, worthless’. To take someone's name in vain, ‘to use someone's name in a way that shows disrespect’, echoes the third of the biblical Ten Commandments: ‘Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.’ Since the late 17th century vain has also described someone who has a high opinion of their own appearance.

Words that rhyme with vanish

banish, clannish, mannish, Spanish, tannish

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: van·ish

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