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Definition of FAN
: any of various devices for winnowing grain
: an instrument for producing a current of air: as
a: a device that is held in the hand and moved back and forth to cool a person and that is usually shaped like a segment of a circle and composed of material (as feathers or paper) mounted on thin rods or slats moving about a pivot so that the device may be closed compactly when not in use
b: a device that consists of a series of vanes radiating from a hub rotated on its axle by a motor
cslang: an airplane propeller
a: something resembling an open fan
b: a gently sloping fan-shaped body of detritus; especially:alluvial fan
Origin of FAN
Middle English, from Old English fann, from Latin vannus — more at winnow
Rigid or folding handheld device used for cooling, air circulation, or ceremony or as a sartorial accessory throughout the world from ancient times. As evidenced by Egyptian reliefs, early fans were of the rigid type, with a handle or stick attached to a rigid leaf or to feathers. In China, the folding fan came into fashion during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644); much significance came to be attached to the fan in East Asia, and many great Chinese painters devoted their talents to fan decoration. Portuguese traders in the 15th century brought fans to Europe from China and Japan. Through the 19th century in the West, fan decoration and size varied with European fashion.