Definitions for vanity fair

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word vanity fair

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

Van′ity Fair′(n.)

  1. (in Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress) a fair that goes on perpetually in the town of Vanity and symbolizes worldly ostentation and frivolity.

    Category: Literature

  2. (often l.c.) any place or group characterized by a preoccupation with idle pleasures or ostentation.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. vanity fair(noun)

    a vain and frivolous lifestyle especially in large cities


  1. Vanity Fair

    Vanity Fair: A Novel without a Hero is a novel by English author William Makepeace Thackeray, first published in 1847–48, satirizing society in early 19th-century Britain. The book's title comes from John Bunyan's allegorical story The Pilgrim's Progress, first published in 1678 and still widely read at the time of Thackeray's novel. "Vanity Fair" refers to a stop along the pilgrim's progress: a never-ending fair held in a town called Vanity, which is meant to represent man's sinful attachment to worldly things. The novel is now considered a classic, and has inspired several film adaptations, the most recent being the 2004 film starring Reese Witherspoon. In 2003, Vanity Fair was listed on the BBC's The Big Read poll of the UK's "best-loved novel".


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