(initial capital letter) Astronomy. Charles's Wain.
a farm wagon or cart.

Nearby words

  1. wail like a banshee,
  2. wailful,
  3. wailfully,
  4. wailsome,
  5. wailuku,
  6. wainscot,
  7. wainscot chair,
  8. wainscoting,
  9. wainscotting,
  10. wainwright

Origin of wain

before 900; Middle English; Old English wægn, wǣn, cognate with Dutch wagen, German Wagen. See weigh1

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wains

British Dictionary definitions for wains



mainly poetic a farm wagon or cart

Word Origin for wain

Old English wægn; related to Old Frisian wein, Old Norse vagn



John (Barrington). 1925–94, British novelist, poet, and critic. His novels include Hurry on Down (1953), Strike the Father Dead (1962), and Young Shoulders (1982)
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 wains



Old English wægn "wheeled vehicle," from Proto-Germanic *wagnaz (see wagon). Largely fallen from use by c.1600, but kept alive by poets, who found it easier to rhyme on than wagon. As a name for the Big Dipper/Plough, it is from Old English (see Charles's Wain).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper