Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An ardent devotee; an enthusiast.
  • noun A device for creating a current of air or a breeze, especially.
  • noun A machine using an electric motor to rotate thin, rigid vanes in order to move air, as for cooling.
  • noun A collapsible, usually wedge-shaped device made of a light material such as silk, paper, or plastic.
  • noun A machine for winnowing.
  • noun Something resembling an open fan in shape.
  • intransitive verb To move or cause a current of (air) with or as if with a fan.
  • intransitive verb To direct a current of air or a breeze upon, especially in order to cool.
  • intransitive verb To stir (something) up by or as if by fanning.
  • intransitive verb To open (something) out into the shape of a fan.
  • intransitive verb To fire (an automatic gun) in a continuous sweep by keeping one's finger on the trigger.
  • intransitive verb To fire (a nonautomatic gun) rapidly by chopping the hammer with the palm.
  • intransitive verb To winnow.
  • intransitive verb Baseball To strike out (a batter).
  • intransitive verb To spread out like a fan.
  • intransitive verb Baseball To strike out.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To cool and refresh, or affect in any way, by agitating the air with or as with a fan.
  • To move or agitate with or as with a fan.
  • To blow upon, literally or figuratively; excite, as fire, by means of a current of air.
  • To winnow; separate chaff from and drive it away by a current of air.
  • Figuratively, to produce effects upon analogous to those of a fan in exciting flame; excite; increase the activity or ardor of; stimulate; inflame: said of the passions and emotions, of plots, etc.: as, this fanned the flame of his love; he fanned the embers of rebellion.
  • To move, as if by the action of a fan or by fanning.
  • To assume a fanlike shape.
  • noun One who is very enthusiastic on the subject of athletic sports, especially base-ball; one who haunts base-ball grounds and base-ball games; a base-ball ‘fiend.’
  • noun The common name of instruments for producing agitation of the air by the movements of a broad surface, as of a wing or vane.
  • noun Any contrivance of vanes or flat disks, revolved by machinery or by hand, as for winnowing grain, cooling fluids, urging combustion, promoting ventilation, etc.
  • noun A small vane or sail used to keep the large sails of a windmill always in the direction of the wind.
  • noun An apparatus for regulating or checking, by the resistance of the air to its rapid motion, the velocity of light machinery, as in a musical box; a fly.
  • noun An apparatus, also called the fan-governor, for regulating the throttle-valve of a steam-engine.
  • noun In soapmanuf., a rotating paddle, so set that its blades skim closely over the surface of the boiling mass in the soap-copper. It serves to prevent the contents of the copper from boiling over.
  • noun Something resembling a fan when spread, as the wing of a bird, the tail of a peacock, etc.
  • noun In geology, an accumulation of debris brought down by a stream descending through a steep ravine and debouching in the plain beneath, where the detrital material spreads itself out in the shape of a fan, forming a section of a very low cone.
  • noun . A quintain.
  • noun Figuratively, any agency which excites to action or which stimulates the activity of a passion or an emotion, producing effects analogous to those of a fan in exciting flame: as, this was a fan to rebellion; a fan to love.
  • noun In Arthropoda, an appendage of the abdomen, as in the tail of Mysis, which may contain an auditory organ.
  • noun A measure of chaff, in Cambridgeshire, England, equal to 3 heaped bushels.
  • noun The flukes of a whale: a whalers'term.
  • To “cool with a club”; club, as policemen sometimes club refractory prisoners.
  • To strike at something (as a base-ball) without hitting it; fan the air.
  • To strike out, as in base-ball.
  • noun In projective geometry, one of the flat pencils which are determined by the sides of a polygram.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun An instrument used for producing artificial currents of air, by the wafting or revolving motion of a broad surface.
  • noun An instrument for cooling the person, made of feathers, paper, silk, etc., and often mounted on sticks all turning about the same pivot, so as when opened to radiate from the center and assume the figure of a section of a circle.
  • noun (Mach.) Any revolving vane or vanes used for producing currents of air, in winnowing grain, blowing a fire, ventilation, etc., or for checking rapid motion by the resistance of the air; a fan blower; a fan wheel.
  • noun An instrument for winnowing grain, by moving which the grain is tossed and agitated, and the chaff is separated and blown away.
  • noun Something in the form of a fan when spread, as a peacock's tail, a window, etc.
  • noun A small vane or sail, used to keep the large sails of a smock windmill always in the direction of the wind.
  • noun That which produces effects analogous to those of a fan, as in exciting a flame, etc.; that which inflames, heightens, or strengthens.

Etymologies

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

[Short for fanatic.]

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

[Middle English, winnowing fan, from Old English fann, from Latin vannus; see wet- in Indo-European roots.]

Examples

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  • Citation on drone.

    June 22, 2008