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verb, \ˈwān\

Simple Definition of wane

  • of the moon : to appear to become thinner or less full

  • : to become smaller or less : to decrease in size, amount, length, or quality

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of wane


  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to decrease in size, extent, or degree :  dwindle: as a :  to diminish in phase or intensity —used chiefly of the moon, other satellites, and inferior planets b :  to become less brilliant or powerful :  dim c :  to flow out :  ebb

  3. 2 :  to fall gradually from power, prosperity, or influence

Examples of wane in a sentence

  1. The moon waxes and then wanes.

  2. The scandal caused her popularity to wane.

  3. Interest in this issue has continued to wane.

  4. the waning days of summer

Did You Know?

Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour / Draws on apace / four happy days bring in / Another moon: But oh, methinks how slow / This old moon wanes! So Theseus describes his eagerness for his wedding night in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. As illustrated by Theseus' words, wane is a word often called upon to describe the seeming decrease in size of the moon in the later phases of the lunar cycle. The traditional opposite of "wane" is "wax," a once common but now infrequently used synonym of "grow." "Wane" and "wax" have been partnered in reference to the moon since the Middle Ages.

Origin of wane

Middle English, from Old English wanian; akin to Old High German wanōn to wane, Old English wan wanting, deficient, Latin vanus empty, vain

First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of wane

abate, subside, wane, ebb mean to die down in force or intensity. abate stresses the idea of progressive diminishing <the storm abated>. subside implies the ceasing of turbulence or agitation <the protests subsided after a few days>. wane suggests the fading or weakening of something good or impressive <waning enthusiasm>. ebb suggests the receding of something (as the tide) that commonly comes and goes <the ebbing of daylight>.




Definition of wane

  1. 1 a :  the act or process of waning <strength on the wane> b :  a period or time of waning; specifically :  the period from the full moon to the new moon

  2. 2 [Middle English, defect, from Old English wana; akin to Old English wan deficient] :  a defect in lumber characterized by bark or a lack of wood at a corner or edge

14th Century

First Known Use of wane

14th century

WANE Defined for Kids


verb \ˈwān\

Definition of wane for Students


  1. 1 :  to grow smaller or less <His interest in the game was waning.> <The moon wanes.>

  2. 2 :  to grow shorter <The day is waning.>

Seen and Heard

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