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noun \ˈfan\

Definition of fan

  1. 1 :  any of various devices for winnowing grain

  2. 2 :  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

  3. 3 a :  something resembling an open fan b :  a gently sloping fan-shaped body of detritus; especially :  alluvial fan

fan·like play \-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

Rhymes with fan




Simple Definition of fan

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

  • baseball : to strike out

Full Definition of fan


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to drive away the chaff of (grain) by means of a current of air b :  to eliminate (as chaff) by winnowing

  3. 2 :  to move or impel (air) with a fan

  4. 3 :  to blow or breathe upon <the breeze fanning her hair>

  5. 4 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>

  6. 5 archaic :  wave

  7. 6 slang :  spank

  8. 7 :  to spread like a fan <the peacock fanned his tail>

  9. 8 :  to strike (a batter) out in baseball

  10. 9 :  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

  11. intransitive verb
  12. 1 :  to move like a fan :  flutter

  13. 2 :  to spread like a fan —often used with out <the searchers fanned out>

  14. 3 :  strike out 3

fan·ner play \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.

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of fan

before 12th century




Definition of fan

  1. 1 :  an enthusiastic devotee (as of a sport or a performing art) usually as a spectator

  2. 2 :  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

Seen and Heard

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February 11, 2016

the holder of an office

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