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  1. travel by means of a small van or truck that has been fitted out with living accommodations.
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Origin of vanning

Related formsvan·ner, noun


  1. a covered vehicle, usually a large truck or trailer, used for moving furniture, goods, animals, etc.
  2. 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.
  3. British.
    1. a railway baggage car.
    2. a covered, boxlike railway car, as one used to carry freight.
    3. a small, horse-drawn wagon or a small truck, as one used by tradespeople to carry light goods.
  4. Also called van conversion. a conventional van whose cargo area has been equipped with living facilities, extra windows, and often increased headroom.
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verb (used with object), vanned, van·ning.
  1. to transport or carry (freight, passengers, etc.) in a van.
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verb (used without object), vanned, van·ning.
  1. to travel in a van.
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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

Examples from the Web for vanning

Historical Examples

  • His first test was made with the ordinary "vanning shovel," his second with the aid of chemicals.

    The Squire's Daughter

    Silas K(itto) Hocking

  • The vanning spade and shallow washing dish are the prototypes of this kind of ore-dressing machinery.

  • As already pointed out, the object of vanning is to determine the proportion of black tin in the lode stuff.

  • The weighed portion of the ore is placed on the vanning shovel.

British Dictionary definitions for vanning


  1. short for caravan (def. 1)
  2. a covered motor vehicle for transporting goods, etc, by road
  3. British a closed railway wagon in which the guard travels, for transporting goods, mail, etc
  4. British See delivery van
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  1. short for vanguard
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noun tennis, mainly British
  1. short for advantage (def. 3) Usual US and Canadian word: ad
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  1. any device for winnowing corn
  2. an archaic or poetic word for wing
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Word Origin

C17: variant of fan 1


  1. a city in E Turkey, on Lake Van. Pop: 377 000 (2005 est)
  2. 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)
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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 vanning



"front part of an army or other advancing group," c.1600, shortening of vanguard.

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"covered truck or wagon," 1829, shortening of caravan.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper