Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n.pl. Mythology An early race of Norse gods who dwelt with the Aesir in Asgard.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. The principal deities, as a group, of the Norse pantheon that represent chaos, fertility, and cultivation; opponents of the Æsir.
  • proper n. Members of the Swedish royal family whose ancestry is traditionally traced to one of the Vanir deities.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (Norse mythology) race of ancient gods sometimes in conflict with the Aesir

Etymologies

Old Norse; see wen-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Borrowed from Old Norse Vanir. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The Norse goddess Freya or Freyja, sometimes thought to be the Vanir cognate or avatar of the Aesir goddess Frigg or Frigga — who, in fact, is in some sources described as a Vanir by birth, suspiciously enough.

    Freyja, Cats and Angels, by Blommer « Skid Roche

  • Maybe you have a situation where the not-Aesir and the not-Vanir are allied uncomfortably against a greater menace -- the not-Giants, we'll call them -- but the allied partners don't get along so well, and there are tensions and betrayals and pranks.

    MIND MELD: Gods by the Bushel

  • Living far to the north, these sullen people rarely left their own land, then usually to war with the Aesir and the Vanir, killing and taking slaves.

    Archive 2009-12-01

  • Asgard, and before I was of the red-haired Vanir, who dwelt in

    Chapter 21

  • Why does she feel justified in double-crossing the Vanir?

    Runemarks by Joanne Harris: Questions

  • Throughout Runemarks, the Vanir and Aesir shift from one “Aspect” to another. (p. 166) How is this notion of one’s Aspect related to identity and truth?

    Runemarks by Joanne Harris: Questions

  • Njord ... was brought up in Vanaheim, but the Vanir sent him as a hostage to the gods--Prose Edda, 23

    Archive 2010-04-01

  • Some interesting theories exist about the Aesir-Vanir war in Norse Mythology, in which an invading race of warlike gods battled with existing fertility deities in Scandinavia.

    Freyja, Cats and Angels, by Blommer « Skid Roche

  • Mim or Mimir (see this article from Brittanica), on the other hand, is a wise god who tried in vain to mediate a peace between the warring Vanir and Aesir (Cotterell and Storm 2006: 210).

    Archive 2007-05-01

  • The Aesir and Vanir have peculiar attachments to their material belongings.

    Why I Began the End

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