- of an unnatural or sickly pallor; pallid; lacking color: His wan face suddenly flushed.
- showing or suggesting ill health, fatigue, unhappiness, etc.: a wan look; a wan smile.
- lacking in forcefulness, competence, or effectiveness: their wan attempts to organize the alumni.
- dark or gloomy.
- pale in color or hue.
- to become or make wan.
Origin of wan1
before 900; Middle English; Old English wann dark, gloomy
SynonymsSee more synonyms for wan on Thesaurus.com
1. ashen. See pale1. 3. feeble, weak, half-hearted, lame.
- a simple past tense of win1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- unnaturally pale esp from sickness, grief, etc
- characteristic or suggestive of ill health, unhappiness, etc
- (of light, stars, etc) faint or dim
- to make or become wan
Old English wann dark; related to wanian to wane
- wide area network
- Nigeria (international car registration)
From W(est) A(frica) N(igeria)
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 wanned
Old English wann "dark, lacking luster," later "leaden, pale, gray," of uncertain origin, and not found in other Germanic languages. The connecting notion is colorlessness. Perhaps related to wane.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Short for wide area network.A communications network that uses such devices as telephone lines, satellite dishes, or radio waves to span a larger geographic area than can be covered by a LAN. The Internet is a WAN.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.