- 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
Vane and I both agreed to acknowledge her and have her to live with us, but it was no use.
No, Vane, indeed I won't, nor anyone else for ever and ever if you'll only forgive me this time.
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.