[ won ]
See synonyms for wan on Thesaurus.com
adjective,wan·ner, wan·nest.
  1. of an unnatural or sickly pallor; pallid; lacking color: His wan face suddenly flushed.

  2. showing or suggesting ill health, fatigue, unhappiness, etc.: a wan look; a wan smile.

  1. lacking in forcefulness, competence, or effectiveness: their wan attempts to organize the alumni.

  2. Archaic.

    • dark or gloomy.

    • pale in color or hue.

verb (used with or without object),wanned, wan·ning.
  1. to become or make wan.

Origin of wan

before 900; Middle English; Old English wann dark, gloomy

synonym study For wan

1. See pale1.

Other words for wan

Opposites for wan

Other words from wan

  • wanly, adverb
  • wanness, noun

Other definitions for wan (2 of 3)

[ wahn ]

  1. a simple past tense of win1.

Other definitions for WAN (3 of 3)

[ wan ]

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

British Dictionary definitions for wan (1 of 2)


/ (wɒn) /

adjectivewanner or wannest
  1. unnaturally pale esp from sickness, grief, etc

  2. characteristic or suggestive of ill health, unhappiness, etc

  1. (of light, stars, etc) faint or dim

verbwans, wanning or wanned
  1. to make or become wan

Origin of wan

Old English wann dark; related to wanian to wane

Derived forms of wan

  • wanly, adverb
  • wanness, noun

British Dictionary definitions for WAN (2 of 2)


abbreviation for
  1. wide area network

  2. Nigeria (international car registration)

Origin of WAN

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

Scientific definitions for WAN


[ wăn ]

  1. 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.