Definitions

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

  • adjective Unnaturally pale, as from physical or emotional distress.
  • adjective Suggestive or indicative of weariness, illness, or unhappiness; melancholy.
  • intransitive verb To become pale.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A wan tint or complexion; paleness.
  • noun 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.
  • 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.
  • To render wan.
  • To grow or become wan.
  • An old preterit, of win.

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

  • noun rare The quality of being wan; wanness.
  • intransitive verb To grow wan; to become pale or sickly in looks.
  • adjective Having a pale or sickly hue; languid of look; pale; pallid.
  • imperative Won.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb obsolete Simple past tense and past participle of win.
  • adjective Pale, sickly-looking.
  • adjective Dim, faint.
  • adjective Bland, uninterested.

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

  • adjective (of light) lacking in intensity or brightness; dim or feeble
  • adjective lacking vitality as from weariness or illness or unhappiness
  • adjective abnormally deficient in color as suggesting physical or emotional distress
  • verb become pale and sickly
  • noun a computer network that spans a wider area than does a local area network

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, pale, gloomy, from Old English wann, gloomy, dark.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old English ƿann ("dark, dusky"), from Proto-Germanic *wannaz (“dark, swart”), of uncertain origin. Cognate with Old Frisian wann, wonn ("dark").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Inflected forms.

Examples

  • I have more dust in wan minute than iver I saw in all me life before.

    CHAPTER I

  • 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.

    Archive 2006-04-01

  • 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.

    The Aeneid of Virgil

  • I don't want to put no lie on a grave stun, if her name wan't Crompton. '

    The Cromptons

  • “Wan” pronounced wahn literally means ten thousand; in Chinese, wan represents all or every.

    Tao I

  • “Wan” pronounced wahn literally means ten thousand; in Chinese, wan represents all or every.

    Tao I

  • I'm what Hogan calls wan iv th 'mute, ingloryous heroes iv th' war; an 'not so dam mute, ayther.

    Mr. Dooley in Peace and in War

  • 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.

    Mr. Dooley's Philosophy

  • Pussy Boy: "I don 'know what bean dip is, but I know I don' wan 'any part of dat."

    Tallulah Morehead: Big Brother 12 : Mothra, the Penguin, and the Succubus.

  • Pussy Boy: "I don 'know what bean dip is, but I know I don' wan 'any part of dat."

    Tallulah Morehead: Big Brother 12 : Mothra, the Penguin, and the Succubus.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • I was accused of being pedantic for using this word, even though it only has 3 letters!

    December 5, 2006

  • By definition it's wishy-washy.

    October 21, 2008

  • aka wide area network

    June 15, 2009

  • World Association of Newspapers (formerly Fédération Internationale des Editeurs de Journaux).

    June 15, 2009

  • white snow that sparkled in the wan winter sun.

    January 3, 2014