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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Van


VAN, noun [Eng. advance, advantage. It is from the root of Latin venio, the primary sense of which is to pass.]

1. The front of an army; or the front line or foremost division of a fleet, either in sailing or in battle.

2. Among farmers, a fan for winnowing grain. [This in New England is always pronounced fan, which see. But the winnowing machine has nearly superseded the use of it.

3. In mining, the cleansing of ore or tin stuff by means of a shovel.

4. A wing with which the air is beaten.

He wheel'd in air, and stretch'd his vans in vain.

VAN, verb transitive To fan. [Not in use.] [See Fan.]