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L'Absinthe (1876) - Edgar Degas
L'Absinthe (1876) - Edgar Degas

"Your order is meaningless, my chaos is significant" — Nathanael West

Vanitas (1603) by Jaques de Gheyn II
Vanitas (1603) by Jaques de Gheyn II

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Meaningless means lacking meaning as in "the word "blituri" is meaningless in English." Meaningless can also refer to something pointless, something that lacks objective or purpose, as in "all our efforts were ultimately meaningless." The term can also refer to the meaning of life, as in "my life is meaningless, I am insignificant".


In the arts, vanitas is a type of symbolic work of art especially associated with Northern European still life painting in the 16th and 17th centuries. The Latin word means "emptiness" and loosely translated corresponds to the meaninglessness of earthly life and the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits. Ecclesiastes from the Bible is often quoted in conjunction with this term. The Vulgate (Latin translation of the Bible) renders the verse as Vanitas vanitatum omnia vanitas. The verse is translated as Vanity of vanities; all is vanity by the King James Version of the Bible. Vanity is used here in its older (especially pre-14th century) sense of "futility". Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless is the rendering by The New International Version of the Bible.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Meaningless" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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