\ ˈvān How to pronounce vane (audio) \

Definition of vane

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a movable device attached to an elevated object (such as a spire) for showing the direction of the wind
b : one that is changeable or inconstant
2 : a thin flat or curved object that is rotated about an axis by a flow of fluid or that rotates to cause a fluid to flow or that redirects a flow of fluid the vanes of a windmill
3 : the web or flat expanded part of a feather — see feather illustration
4 : a feather fastened to the shaft near the nock of an arrow


biographical name
\ ˈvān How to pronounce Vane (audio) \

Definition of Vane (Entry 2 of 2)

Sir Henry 1613–1662 the Younger English statesman

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Other Words from vane


vaned \ ˈvānd How to pronounce vaned (audio) \ adjective

Examples of vane in a Sentence

Noun the vanes of a windmill
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The vane on that side seemed to be the original unit. New York Times, "What Really Brought Down the Boeing 737 Max?," 18 Sep. 2019 The sensors are vanes attached to the fuselage that indicate whether the plane is headed up or down. Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY, "Is the Boeing 737 Max safe? 2 big reasons the plane is still grounded by FAA after crashes," 12 Nov. 2019 The replacement vane put onto this airplane in Bali was older than the airplane itself. New York Times, "What Really Brought Down the Boeing 737 Max?," 18 Sep. 2019 But there was no such button to simulate an angle of attack vane going wrong. Author: Dominic Gates, Anchorage Daily News, "Boeing’s defense of 737 MAX flight-control system in wake of pilot messages stands up," 22 Oct. 2019 When the Museum of Old Newbury purchased the weathercock from the First Religious Society of Newburyport in 2018, the presumption was the vane was made by either Shem Drowne or his son Thomas. Maysoon Khan,, "Rare weathervane finds new perch in Newburyport," 1 Aug. 2019 There’s a laughing Buddha statue with four Caruso children climbing on it, a wind vane with the kids’ initials, and a favorite quote from each child inlaid in brass on the stone veranda. Christina Binkley,, "The Miramar Beach hotel in Montecito opens with a splash," 10 June 2019 The turning of the vanes can, however, be modeled as a capillarity effect, and described by the Korteweg equations. Quanta Magazine, "Famous Fluid Equations Are Incomplete," 21 July 2015 In 1879, Maxwell attempted to describe the turning vanes of the Crookes radiometer by modeling the thin air inside the vacuum chamber as a fluid. Quanta Magazine, "Famous Fluid Equations Are Incomplete," 21 July 2015

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vane.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of vane


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for vane


Middle English fane, vane "flag, pennant, weather vane," going back to Old English fana, fane "banner, standard," going back to Germanic *fanan- (whence Gothic fana "piece of cloth," Old Saxon fano "cloth," Old High German fano flag"; akin to Latin pannus "piece of cloth"

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Time Traveler for vane

Time Traveler

The first known use of vane was in the 14th century

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Statistics for vane

Last Updated

25 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Vane.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for vane


How to pronounce Vane (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of vane

: a thin, flat or curved object that is attached to a wheel and that moves when air or water pushes it


\ ˈvān How to pronounce vane (audio) \

Kids Definition of vane

2 : a flat or curved surface that turns around a center when moved by wind or water the vanes of a windmill

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Spanish Central: Translation of vane

Nglish: Translation of vane for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about vane

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