Try Our Apps


Gobble up these 8 terms for eating


[weyn] /weɪn/
verb (used without object), waned, waning.
to decrease in strength, intensity, etc.:
Daylight waned, and night came on. Her enthusiasm for the cause is waning.
to decline in power, importance, prosperity, etc.:
Colonialism began to wane after World War II.
to draw to a close; approach an end:
Summer is waning.
(of the moon) to decrease periodically in the extent of its illuminated portion after the full moon.
Compare wax2 (def 2).
a gradual decrease or decline in strength, intensity, power, etc.
the drawing to a close of life, an era, a period, etc.
the waning of the moon.
a period of waning.
a defect in a plank or board characterized by bark or insufficient wood at a corner or along an edge, due to the curvature of the log.
on the wane, decreasing; diminishing:
The popularity of that song is on the wane.
Origin of wane
before 900; Middle English wanen (v.), Old English wanian to lessen; cognate with Middle Dutch, Middle High German wanen, Old Norse vana to cause to wane, destroy
Related forms
unwaned, adjective
unwaning, adjective
Can be confused
wane, wax.
1, 2. diminish, fail, sink. 5. diminution; failure, decay. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for wane
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There is appreciably less light every day; soon there will be none; but the good spirits do not wane with the light.

    Farthest North Fridtjof Nansen
  • Religion, true spiritual religion was on the wane in England.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug Joseph C. Lincoln
  • So I decree that if she wakes all night she shall wax and wane with its mistress, the moon.

  • It had made him apprehensive, and he wondered if his influence over her was on the wane.

    The Woman-Haters Joseph C. Lincoln
  • We got ahead of the drushtvo, but as the light was beginning to wane the zaptieh called a halt, and we waited for them.

    Through the Land of the Serb Mary Edith Durham
British Dictionary definitions for wane


verb (intransitive)
(of the moon) to show a gradually decreasing portion of illuminated surface, between full moon and new moon Compare wax2 (sense 2)
to decrease gradually in size, strength, power, etc
to draw to a close
a decrease, as in size, strength, power, etc
the period during which the moon wanes
the act or an instance of drawing to a close
a rounded surface or defective edge of a plank, where the bark was
on the wane, in a state of decline
Derived Forms
waney, wany, adjective
Word Origin
Old English wanian (vb); related to wan-, prefix indicating privation, wana defect, Old Norse vana
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for wane

Old English wanian "make or become smaller gradually," from Proto-Germanic *wanojanan (cf. Old Saxon wanon, Old Norse vana, Old Frisian wania, Middle Dutch waenen, Old High German wanon "to wane, to grow less"), from *wano- "lacking," from PIE *we-no-, from root *eue- "to leave, abandon, give out" (see vain). Related: Waned; waning; wanes.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with wane


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for wane

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for wane