- a covered vehicle, usually a large truck or trailer, used for moving furniture, goods, animals, etc.
- a smaller boxlike vehicle that resembles a panel truck, often has double doors both at the rear and along the curb side, and that can be used as a truck, fitted with rows of seats, or equipped with living quarters for traveling and camping.
- a railway baggage car.
- a covered, boxlike railway car, as one used to carry freight.
- a small, horse-drawn wagon or a small truck, as one used by tradespeople to carry light goods.
- Also called van conversion. a conventional van whose cargo area has been equipped with living facilities, extra windows, and often increased headroom.
- to transport or carry (freight, passengers, etc.) in a van.
- to travel in a van.
Origin of van2
First recorded in 1820–30; short for caravan
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- short for vanguard
- short for advantage (def. 3) Usual US and Canadian word: ad
- any device for winnowing corn
- an archaic or poetic word for wing
Word Origin for van
C17: variant of fan 1
- a city in E Turkey, on Lake Van. Pop: 377 000 (2005 est)
- Lake Van a salt lake in E Turkey, at an altitude of 1650 m (5400 ft): fed by melting snow and glaciers. Area: 3737 sq km (1433 sq miles)
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
"front part of an army or other advancing group," c.1600, shortening of vanguard.
"covered truck or wagon," 1829, shortening of caravan.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper