\ ˈwän How to pronounce wan (audio) \
wanner; wannest

Definition of wan

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : suggestive of poor health : sickly, pallid
b : lacking vitality : feeble
2 : dim, faint
3 : languid a wan smile

wan

verb
wanned; wanning

Definition of wan (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to grow or become pale or sickly

WAN

noun
\ ˈwan How to pronounce WAN (audio) \

Definition of WAN (Entry 3 of 3)

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Other Words from wan

Adjective

wanly adverb
wanness \ ˈwän-​nəs How to pronounce wanness (audio) \ noun

Examples of wan in a Sentence

Adjective She gave a wan laugh. she looks a little wan after all that tiring work
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Evans managed both to placate the money men at Gulf & Western, who wanted to sell Paramount because of its wan revenue, and become a peer of Hollywood's rambunctious talent. cleveland, "Robert Evans, Hollywood mogul of legendary bravado, dies at 89," 28 Oct. 2019 Our family just discovered Gobi Manchurian, and for anyone who considers cauliflower a wan version of broccoli, try this and banish thoughts of soggy vegetables from your mind. BostonGlobe.com, "Where to eat in Greater Boston," 30 Mar. 2018 The beautiful young actress turns into a wan woman in a bandana and mismatched clothes. Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Friend': Film Review | TIFF 2019," 7 Sep. 2019 In spite of the lovingly detailed suburban ambience, interiors, gardens and clothes, the atmosphere feels torqued beyond time and history into a fairy tale theater of desire and wan hope. Marina Warner, New York Times, "Evil Stepmother, Reimagined," 2 Feb. 2018 And while Asako is meant to be shown as repressing her feelings, Karata’s performance itself feels wan and underimagined. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Matters of identity make ‘Asako I & II’ so intriguing," 24 July 2019 After 75 years, the gap between the muscular economic reality and America’s wan self-image is enormous. David Von Drehle, Twin Cities, "David Von Drehle: Everyone acts like America is in decline. Let’s look at the numbers.," 6 June 2019 Many visitors take selfies, and the wan faces that stare back at them from their screens float adrift in nothing. I.w., The Economist, "The powerful simplicity of Olafur Eliasson’s art," 18 July 2019 After 75 years, the gap between the muscular economic reality and America’s wan self-image is enormous. David Von Drehle, Twin Cities, "David Von Drehle: Everyone acts like America is in decline. Let’s look at the numbers.," 6 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wan.' 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 wan

Adjective

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

Verb

1578, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1983, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for wan

Adjective

Middle English, from Old English wann dark, livid

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Statistics for wan

Last Updated

18 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for wan

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

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More Definitions for wan

How to pronounce WAN (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of wan

: looking sick or pale
: having a weak quality
\ ˈwän How to pronounce wan (audio) \
wanner; wannest

Kids Definition of wan

1 : having a pale or sickly color
2 : showing little effort or energy a wan smile

Other Words from wan

wanly adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on wan

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wan

Spanish Central: Translation of wan

Nglish: Translation of wan for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wan for Arabic Speakers

Comments on wan

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