The child tried in vain to keep up.
He tried in vain to stop the water flow.
The convict tried in vain to escape several times from prison.
Let's not let Carlo's death be in vain.
In a vain attempt to lose some weight, I have taken to reading the labels on the food I buy.
He tried in vain to persuade a policeman to let him enter Downing Street!
He tried in vain to get the whole world to be won over to liberal toleration within one or two generations.
The minister tried in vain to find the commandment which stated they were not allowed to do this.
Tony Blair was so vain that all he could think about was the glory of the opening ceremony.
He attempted in vain to secure the election of his grandson Charles.
The proprietors struggled in vain to bring about a closer union.
We drove home with Betsy trying in vain to calm Molly down, telling her we weren't in any danger.
It is not in vain that the farmer remembers and repeats the few Latin words which he has heard.
She tugged at his collar and he tried in vain to rise.
Martha looked bewildered as she tried in vain to quiet Claire.
In vain the fiery young soldier strove to break loose from the shackles which hampered him.
She wasn't vain enough to think that turned him to drinking, though.
This work was completed about 1630, and was offered in vain by the author to all the publishers in Venice.
It may be vain to ask why the imagination will not be reconciled to flesh and fat.
It was a vain attempt to clothe the truth in lies.
But the wind slides eastward over its opaque surface in vain, till it reaches the living surface beyond.
He looked intently and inquiringly into his friend's eyes, evidently trying in vain to find the answer to some question.
He now tried to keep himself as much out of the political world as possible, but in vain, for the court would suspect him, and his friends would talk about his being king.
It is vain, therefore, to look for clearly defined and systematic presentations of the idea among ancient writers.
We will not be shipwrecked on a vain reality.
Checking the record, her face grew warm on discovery that Alex had once again tried in vain to reach her.
The evening was strangely silent and as she paused with her hand at the door, she listened in vain for sounds within.
The Persian fleet in vain endeavoured to relieve it, and Miletus did not long hold out against Alexander's attack.
We look in vain, therefore, for much more than the germs and principles of Presbyterianism in the churches of the first Reformers.
He sent his wife to England, but delayed his own return in the vain hope that another appointment might be made.
He interceded for her in vain with the king, as he had done in the cases of Fisher, More and the monks of Christchurch.
In the complicated German affairs the emperor in vain sought for a minister on whose knowledge and advice he could depend.
As I talked, happy thoughts fluttered up out of my words that might perhaps have struggled in vain to escape my fingers.