noun \ˈfan\

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
c slang :  an airplane propeller
a :  something resembling an open fan
b :  a gently sloping fan-shaped body of detritus; especially :  alluvial fan
fan·like \-ˌlīk\ adjective

Origin of FAN

Middle English, from Old English fann, from Latin vannus — more at winnow
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Agriculture/Gardening Terms

fallow, graft, heirloom, loam, potash, soilage, swath, tilth, windfall

Rhymes with FAN



: to move air on or toward (someone or something) with a fan

baseball : to strike out


Full Definition of FAN

transitive verb
a :  to drive away the chaff of (grain) by means of a current of air
b :  to eliminate (as chaff) by winnowing
:  to move or impel (air) with a fan
:  to blow or breathe upon <the breeze fanning her hair>
a :  to direct a current of air upon with a fan
b :  to stir up to activity as if by fanning :  stimulate <fanning the fires of nationalism>
archaic :  wave
slang :  spank
:  to spread like a fan <the peacock fanned his tail>
:  to strike (a batter) out in baseball
:  to fire a series of shots from (a single-action revolver) by holding the trigger back and successively striking the hammer to the rear with the free hand
intransitive verb
:  to move like a fan :  flutter
:  to spread like a fan —often used with out <the searchers fanned out>
:  strike out 3
fan·ner \ˈfa-nər\ noun

Examples of FAN

  1. He fanned himself with a newspaper while he waited for the bus.
  2. The pitcher has fanned six batters in the first three innings.
  3. The batter fanned on a curveball.

First Known Use of FAN

before 12th century



Definition of FAN

:  an enthusiastic devotee (as of a sport or a performing art) usually as a spectator
:  an ardent admirer or enthusiast (as of a celebrity or a pursuit) <science-fiction fans>

Origin of FAN

probably short for fanatic
First Known Use: 1682

Other Performing Arts Terms

diva, dramaturgy, loge, prestidigitation, proscenium, supernumerary, zany


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

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.


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