van

1 of 4

noun (1)

1
a
: a usually enclosed wagon or motortruck used for transportation of goods or animals
b
: a multipurpose enclosed motor vehicle having a boxlike shape, rear or side doors, and side panels often with windows
c
: a detachable passenger cabin transportable by aircraft or truck
2
chiefly British : an enclosed railroad freight or baggage car

van

2 of 4

verb

vanned; vanning

transitive verb

: to transport by van

van

3 of 4

noun (2)

van

4 of 4

noun (3)

1
dialectal, England : a winnowing device (such as a fan)
2

Examples of van in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
But without a plan in sight, the ladies prepare to embark upon the great unknown, piling into a van and hitting the road to promote their album and get back on top. Dory Jackson, Peoplemag, 15 Feb. 2024 Then, a van pulled up, and passengers quickly jumped out. Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi, Discover Magazine, 15 Feb. 2024 In July 1994, Michael and Daniel Stanley were struck by a van fleeing from Independence police and died. Katie Moore, Kansas City Star, 15 Feb. 2024 While the van was traveling through Fort Worth, several people called in to report a white van swerving in and out of traffic while driving at a high speed. Nicole Lopez, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 9 Feb. 2024 On April 18, 1983, a dark delivery van loaded with two thousand pounds of explosives turned into a cobblestone lane in front of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, a seven-story complex that overlooked the Mediterranean Sea. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, 6 Feb. 2024 Things are much more dangerous when he’s thrown around inside a van during the movie’s climax. Kyle Barr / Gizmodo, Quartz, 6 Feb. 2024 At least 27 people, only one of them a protester, were driven in a police van to Kitay-Gorod station where they are currently being held, according OVD-info, a group that monitors Russian repression. Darya Tarasova and Amy Cassidy, CNN, 3 Feb. 2024 The cases were loaded into a van, the doors were closed and the vehicle pulled away. Peter Baker, New York Times, 2 Feb. 2024
Verb
This little Sundance-darling-that-could is as quirky and charming as the yellow Volkswagon van the Hoovers use for their road trip to California. Andrew Walsh, EW.com, 27 Nov. 2023 Natalee Holloway's Mom Reveals How Joran van der Sloot Killed Her Daughter in 2005 (Exclusive) Van der Sloot, 36, was temporarily extradited to Alabama in June to face extortion and wire fraud charges in a case connected to Natalee’s 2005 disappearance. Emily Palmer, Peoplemag, 31 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'van.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

short for caravan entry 1

Noun (2)

by shortening

Noun (3)

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French, going back to Latin vannus, of uncertain origin

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1829, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1840, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1607, in the meaning defined above

Noun (3)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of van was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near van

Cite this Entry

“Van.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/van. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

van

1 of 2 noun

van

2 of 2 noun
1
: a usually closed wagon or truck for transporting goods or animals
2
: an enclosed motor vehicle shaped like a box that is used for a variety of purposes and has rear or side doors and side panels often with windows
Etymology

Noun

a shortened form of vanguard

Noun

a shortened form of caravan "vehicle"

More from Merriam-Webster on van

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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