- weather vane.
- a blade, plate, sail, etc., in the wheel of a windmill, to be moved by the air.
- any of a number of blades or plates attached radially to a rotating drum or cylinder, as in a turbine or pump, that move or are moved by a fluid, as steam, water, hot gases, or air.
- a person who is readily changeable or fickle.
- any fixed or movable plane surface on the outside of a rocket providing directional control while the rocket is within the atmosphere.
- a similar plane surface located in the exhaust jet of a reaction engine, providing directional control while the engine is firing.
- Ornithology. the web of a feather.
- Navigation, Surveying. either of two fixed projections for sighting an alidade or the like.
- Archery. feather(def 5).
Origin of vane
before 1100; Middle English; Old English fana flag; cognate with German Fahne flag, Gothic fana segment of cloth; cf. gonfanon
- Sir HenrySir Harry Vane, 1613–62, British statesman and author.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for vane
No, Vane, indeed I won't, nor anyone else for ever and ever if you'll only forgive me this time.
Vane and I both agreed to acknowledge her and have her to live with us, but it was no use.
Vane Maxwell was in very good humour that night with himself and all the world.
I suppose after what you've said it's no use asking you to have a nightcap, Vane?
There was a little pause, during which Vane looked hard at the spirit-case.
- Also called: weather vane, wind vane a flat plate or blade of metal mounted on a vertical axis in an exposed position to indicate wind direction
- any one of the flat blades or sails forming part of the wheel of a windmill
- any flat or shaped plate used to direct fluid flow, esp a stator blade in a turbine, etc
- a fin or plate fitted to a projectile or missile to provide stabilization or guidance
- ornithol the flat part of a feather, consisting of two rows of barbs on either side of the shaft
- a sight on a quadrant or compass
- the movable marker on a levelling staff
Old English fana; related to Old Saxon, Old High German fano, Old Norse fani, Latin pannus cloth
- Sir Henry, known as Sir Harry Vane. 1613–62, English Puritan statesman and colonial administrator; governor of Massachusetts (1636–37). He was executed for high treason after the Restoration
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for vane
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Vane(vān)John Robert 1927-2004
- British pharmacologist. He shared a 1982 Nobel Prize for research on prostaglandins.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- The flattened, weblike part of a feather, consisting of a series of barbs on either side of the rachis.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.