a blade, plate, sail, etc., in the wheel of a windmill, to be moved by the air.
any of a number of blades or plates attached radially to a rotating drum or cylinder, as in a turbine or pump, that move or are moved by a fluid, as steam, water, hot gases, or air.
a person who is readily changeable or fickle.
any fixed or movable plane surface on the outside of a rocket providing directional control while the rocket is within the atmosphere.
a similar plane surface located in the exhaust jet of a reaction engine, providing directional control while the engine is firing.
Ornithology. the web of a feather. See illus. under feather.
Navigation, Surveying. either of two fixed projections for sighting an alidade or the like.
Archery. feather ( def 5 ).

before 1100; Middle English; Old English fana flag; cognate with German Fahne flag, Gothic fana segment of cloth; cf. gonfanon

vaned, adjective
vaneless, adjective
multivane, adjective

vain, vane, vein. Unabridged


Sir Henry (Sir Harry Vane) 1613–62, British statesman and author. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
vane (veɪn)
1.  weather vane, Also called: wind vane a flat plate or blade of metal mounted on a vertical axis in an exposed position to indicate wind direction
2.  any one of the flat blades or sails forming part of the wheel of a windmill
3.  any flat or shaped plate used to direct fluid flow, esp a stator blade in a turbine, etc
4.  a fin or plate fitted to a projectile or missile to provide stabilization or guidance
5.  ornithol the flat part of a feather, consisting of two rows of barbs on either side of the shaft
6.  surveying
 a.  a sight on a quadrant or compass
 b.  the movable marker on a levelling staff
[Old English fana; related to Old Saxon, Old High German fano, Old Norse fani, Latin pannus cloth]

Vane (veɪn)
Sir Henry, known as Sir Harry Vane. 1613--62, English Puritan statesman and colonial administrator; governor of Massachusetts (1636--37). He was executed for high treason after the Restoration

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"wind indicator," early 15c., southern England alteration (see V) of fane.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

Vane (vān), John Robert. Born 1927.

British pharmacologist. He shared a 1982 Nobel Prize for research on prostaglandins.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
vane   (vān)  Pronunciation Key 
The flattened, weblike part of a feather, consisting of a series of barbs on either side of the rachis.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
So it's vane to talk about blood since it's wrong to judge national background on this single factor.
Scan a feather and enlarge it to poster size and you'll see each vane and barb.
He's a bombast anyway, a vane orator, the way so many pol's are.
The final effect was stately: a white building with a blue and white cupola topped by a weather vane.
Images for vane
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