\ˈvān \

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 \

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 \ adjective

Examples of vane in a Sentence


the vanes of a windmill

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The front splitter, the hood scoop, the fender vents, the aero vanes up on the roof (that actually channel air over the wing), the winglets, the triple-tip exhaust, and the red pinstriped wheels make the Type R seem like a life-sized shout for help. Jim Resnick, Ars Technica, "America finally gets Honda’s best: The 2018 Civic Type R," 22 Jan. 2018 Jason Jarvis, president of Jarvis Airfoil Inc., a Portland manufacturer of fan, compressor and turbine blades and vanes for military and commercial jet engines, compared Trump’s tariffs with pre-Civil War protectionism. Stephen Singer,, "Connecticut Manufacturers Jeer Trump's Tariffs," 12 Mar. 2018 And there are active vanes that can open up in the front bumper to boost airflow to the battery and climate control system if necessary. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Electric cat: Jaguar stalks Tesla with $70,000 I-Pace SUV," 6 Mar. 2018 The car was equipped with a tunable rear wing and aluminum vanes along the side of the car’s nose., "Rolla Vollstedt: Oregon's Indy 500 pioneer dies at age 99," 2 Nov. 2017 People signed the weather vane that sits on top of the steeple, according to Trump. Milwaukee, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "First Congregational Church of Wauwatosa celebrates 175 years," 30 Aug. 2017 Like the Northern Lords that Sansa fretted about to Littlefinger, Khaleesi has become a weather vane. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Is Game of Thrones on Thin Ice?," 21 Aug. 2017 The Mulsanne was redesigned for 2017 with a more imposing front end dominated by a large stainless steel vertical-vane grille; it is intended to recall the great models of the past. Mark Maynard,, "2017 Bentley Mulsanne: A battle hymn of tradition and stoic provenance," 11 Aug. 2017 No country cliches here: Her look combines rustic farm tables, lanterns and antique weather vanes with contemporary lighting and white marble bathrooms. The Washington Post, The Denver Post, "5 ways to do farmhouse style in the 21st century," 25 May 2017

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

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

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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 \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on vane

Spanish Central: Translation of vane

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

Comments on vane

What made you want to look up vane? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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