American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Unnaturally pale, as from physical or emotional distress.
- adj. Suggestive or indicative of weariness, illness, or unhappiness; melancholy: a wan expression.
- v. To become pale.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A wan tint or complexion; paleness.
- n. The German name, sometimes used in English, of the dyestuff weld (not woad).
- Dark; black; gloomy: applied to the weather, to water, streams, pools, etc.
- Colorless; pallid; pale; sickly of hue.
- Sorrowful; sad.
- Frightful; awful; great.
- Synonyms Pallid, etc. (see pale), ashy, cadaverous.
- To render wan.
- To grow or become wan.
- An old preterit, of win.
- A prefix of Anglo-Saxon origin, frequent in Middle English, meaning ‘wanting, deficient, lacking,’ and used as a negative, like un-, with which it often inter changed. It differs from
un-in denoting more em-phaticaliy the fact of privation. It still exists as a recog nized prefix in provincial use, and in literary use, unrecog nized as a prefix, in wanton.
- adj. Pale, sickly-looking.
- adj. Dim, faint.
- adj. Bland, uninterested.
- v. obsolete Simple past tense and past participle of win.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Having a pale or sickly hue; languid of look; pale; pallid.
- n. rare The quality of being wan; wanness.
- v. To grow wan; to become pale or sickly in looks.
- adj. (of light) lacking in intensity or brightness; dim or feeble
- adj. lacking vitality as from weariness or illness or unhappiness
- adj. abnormally deficient in color as suggesting physical or emotional distress
- v. become pale and sickly
- n. a computer network that spans a wider area than does a local area network
- Inflected forms. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, pale, gloomy, from Old English wann, gloomy, dark. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“I have more dust in wan minute than iver I saw in all me life before.”
“But this still brought the station chief 21 wan wan is Chinese measure, NT$10,000, at that time US$250 in one week--you could buy one house with it.”
“And first he laces to his feet the shoes of gold that bear him high winging over seas or land as fleet as the gale; then takes the rod wherewith he calls wan souls forth of Orcus, or sends them again to the sad depth of hell, gives sleep and takes it away and unseals dead eyes; in whose strength he courses the winds and swims across the tossing clouds.”
“I don't want to put no lie on a grave stun, if her name wan't Crompton. ”
““Wan” pronounced wahn literally means ten thousand; in Chinese, wan represents all or every.”
“Sinitor Jones calls wan iv his thrusty hinchman to his side, an 'says he:' Mike, put on a pig-tail, an 'a blue shirt an' take a dillygation iv Chinnymen out to Canton an 'congratulate Mack on th' murdher iv mission'ries in China.”
“I'm what Hogan calls wan iv th 'mute, ingloryous heroes iv th' war; an 'not so dam mute, ayther.”
“Pussy Boy: "I don 'know what bean dip is, but I know I don' wan 'any part of dat.”
“Gordana talks about how she still has her health while looking kind of wan, and as the boys leave their apartment we see that their blackboard reads "Bring it on, Klum!”
“It's whole tone -- from music to low key imagery -- is kind of wan and wistful, if not downright mournful.”
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