\ ˈvān How to pronounce vane (audio) \

Definition of vane

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

Examples of vane in a Sentence

the vanes of a windmill
Recent Examples on the Web Either way, the key EWB styling differences are a vertical-vane front grille and repositioned panoramic sunroof—moved 4.9 inches rearwards to benefit those luxuriating in the back. Tim Pitt, Robb Report, 10 May 2022 The vane cap inside the car's vacuum pump can wear out prematurely, break, and cause pump failure, which in turn could affect power-braking assistance. Laura Sky Brown, Car and Driver, 22 Nov. 2021 The wind vane of power is constantly moving, and sometimes those almost entirely down and out are the ones that truly hold the cards. Jack King, Vulture, 3 Dec. 2021 The problem involves a defective cap on the rotating vane in the mechanical vacuum pump. Laura Sky Brown, Car and Driver, 22 Nov. 2021 The weapon is armed by a vane which spins as the bomb falls. David Hambling, Forbes, 8 Nov. 2021 The most extensive Levolor collection is the vertical blinds, which are ideal for larger windows, offer three vane types, and start at $68. Madison Yauger, Better Homes & Gardens, 3 Aug. 2021 The turbo uses variable vane technology to let the engine make peak torque at 1,750 rpm. Karl Brauer, Forbes, 26 May 2021 For decades, this state was a reliable wind vane of American politics. New York Times, 27 Apr. 2021 See More

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.

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 (masculine or feminine weak noun) "banner, standard, kind of iris," going back to Germanic *fanōn (whence also Old Frisian fona, fana "flag," Old Saxon fano "cloth, cloak, flag," Middle Dutch vane, vaen "flag," Old High German fano "cloth, cloak, ribbon, flag," Old Icelandic fani "banner," Gothic fana "piece of cloth, rag"), perhaps a borrowing from the same source as Latin pannus "piece of cloth, rag"

Note: In the sense "banner, flag" Old English fana, Old Saxon fano, etc., are probably shortenings of Old English gūþfana, Old Saxon gūthfano, etc., "battle standard, banner"—see gonfalon. —The Germanic and Latin etyma have also been associated with Greek pḗnē "thread on the spool or bobbin that will form the weft" (also pēníon, Doric pāníon "spool, bobbin," and pênos, glossed "web" by Hesychius), though the senses appear too remote to be comparable. G. Kroonen suggests that the forms might be unified by positing an original ablauting n-stem *p(é)h2-ōn, genitive *ph2-n-ós, with the Germanic word being the outcome of a generalized stem *ph2-no- or *peh2-nó-, with shortening by Dybo's Law (shortening of long vowels before an accented syllable beginning with a resonant). Latin pannum could be relatable if it was the outcome of the littera-rule (V:C > VCC). A problem here, however, is that there appear to be no other cases of the littera-rule operating in Latin before a nasal consonant—and, in any case, there are no examples of *pānus. Germanic *fanōn and Latin pannus are perhaps to be considered loanwords from an unknown source.

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

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Cite this Entry

“Vane.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for vane


\ 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

Vane biographical name

\ ˈvān How to pronounce Vane (audio) \

Definition of Vane

Sir Henry 1613–1662 the Younger English statesman

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


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