1

fan

noun \ ˈfan \

Definition of fan

1 :any of various devices for winnowing grain
2 :an instrument for producing a current of air: such 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 (such 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
  • a ceiling fan to stir the air
c slang :an airplane propeller
3 a :something resembling an open fan (such as the leaf of certain palms)
b :a gently sloping fan-shaped body of detritus; especially :alluvial fan

fanlike

play \ˈfan-ˌlīk\ adjective

The Fanatical Origin of fan

There are a good number of etymological myths in the English language, stories about the origins of words (such as the widespread notion that posh originated as an acronym for “port out, starboard home”) which are, to put it kindly, inaccurate. But this does not mean that every vivid account of linguistic origin is fictitious. Many words, such as fan, do have colorful backstories.

Fan is generally–and very likely correctly–believed to be a shortened form of fanatic. The origin of fanatic (which can be traced back to the Latin word fanum, meaning “sanctuary, temple”) is less often commented on. In English, fan made an early appearance in the late 17th century only to disappear for two centuries, resurfacing in the late 19th century. In this later period of use, it often referred to the devoted observers of, or participants in, a sport. An 1885 article from The Kansas City Times, for example, contains the line “The base ball ‘fans’ of the ploice [sic] force and fire department engage in a ball game.”

Origin and Etymology of fan

Middle English, from Old English fann, from Latin vannus — more at winnow

Other Agriculture/Gardening Terms


2

fan

verb

Definition of fan

fanned; fanning
transitive verb
1 a :to drive away the chaff of (grain) by means of a current of air
b :to eliminate (chaff) by winnowing
2 :to move or impel (air) with a fan
3 :to blow or breathe upon
  • the breeze fanning her hair
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
5 archaic :wave
6 slang :spank
7 :to spread like a fan
  • the peacock fanned his tail
8 :to strike (a batter) out in baseball
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
intransitive verb
1 :to move like a fan :flutter
2 :to spread like a fan often used with out
  • the searchers fanned out
3 :strike out 3

fanner

play \ˈfa-nər\ noun

Examples of fan in a Sentence

  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.

Origin and Etymology of fan

see 1fan


3

fan

noun

Definition of fan

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

Origin and Etymology of fan

probably short for fanatic

Other Performing Arts Terms



FAN Defined for English Language Learners

fan

verb

Definition of fan for English Language Learners

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

  • baseball : to strike out


FAN Defined for Kids

1

fan

noun \ ˈfan \

Definition of fan for Students

1 :a machine or device that is used for producing a current of air
2 :something having the shape of a half circle

fanlike

\-ˌlīk\ adjective

2

fan

verb

Definition of fan for Students

fanned; fanning
1 :to direct a current of air upon with a fan
2 :to strike out in baseball

3

fan

noun

Definition of fan for Students

:an enthusiastic follower or admirer


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