van

1 [van]
noun
1.
the foremost or front division of an army, a fleet, or any group leading an advance or in position to lead an advance.
2.
those who are in the forefront of a movement or the like.
3.
the forefront in any movement, course of progress, or the like.

Origin:
1600–10; short for vanguard

Dictionary.com Unabridged

van

2 [van]
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.
a.
a railway baggage car.
b.
a covered, boxlike railway car, as one used to carry freight.
c.
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.
verb (used with object), vanned, vanning.
5.
to transport or carry (freight, passengers, etc.) in a van.
verb (used without object), vanned, vanning.
6.
to travel in a van.

Origin:
1820–30; short for caravan

van

4 [van]
noun
a wing.

Origin:
1400–50;late Middle English, variant of fan1

Van

[van; for 1, 2 also Turkish vahn]
noun
1.
a salt lake in E Turkey. 1454 sq. mi. (3766 sq. km).
2.
a town on this lake.
3.
a male given name.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To vans
Collins
World English Dictionary
van1 (væn)
 
n
1.  short for caravan
2.  a covered motor vehicle for transporting goods, etc, by road
3.  (Brit) a closed railway wagon in which the guard travels, for transporting goods, mail, etc
4.  (Brit) See delivery van

van2 (væn)
 
n
short for vanguard

van3 (væn)
 
n
short for advantage Usual US and Canadian word: ad

van4 (væn)
 
n
1.  any device for winnowing corn
2.  an archaic or poetic word for wing
 
[C17: variant of fan1]

Van (vɑːn)
 
n
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)

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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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

van
"front part of an army or other advancing group," 1610, shortening of vanguard.

van
"covered truck or wagon," 1829, shortening of caravan.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
van
  1. caravan

  2. vanguard

VAN
value-added network
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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