see also: Fan, FAN
  • IPA: /fæn/
  • (æ-tensing) IPA: [feən]

fan (plural fans)

  1. A hand-held device consisting of concertinaed material, or slats of material, gathered together at one end, that may be opened out into the shape of a sector of a circle and waved back and forth in order to move air towards oneself and cool oneself.
  2. An electrical or mechanical device for moving air, used for cooling people, machinery, etc.
  3. The action of fanning; agitation of the air.
    • 1998, Brock Thoene, ‎Bodie Thoene, A New Frontier: Saga of the Sierras (page 181)
      "If I cannot be of service, then I certainly don't wish to impose," said McGinty, with a quick fan of breeze that indicated a sweeping bow.
  4. Anything resembling a hand-held fan in shape, e.g., a peacock’s tail.
  5. An instrument for winnowing grain, by moving which the grain is tossed and agitated, and the chaff is separated and blown away.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Isaiah 30:24 ↗:
      The oxen likewise and the yong asses that eare the ground, shall eate cleane prouender which hath bene winnowed with the shouell and with the fanne.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Matthew 3:12 ↗:
      Whose fanne is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floore, and gather his wheat into the garner: but wil burne vp the chaffe with vnquenchable fire.
  6. A small vane or sail, used to keep the large sails of a smock mill always in the direction of the wind.
  7. (maths) A section of a tree having a finite number of branches
Translations Translations Translations Verb

fan (fans, present participle fanning; past and past participle fanned)

  1. (transitive) To blow air on (something) by means of a fan (hand-held, mechanical or electrical) or otherwise.
    We enjoyed standing at the edge of the cliff, being fanned by the wind.
  2. (transitive) To slap (a behind, especially).
  3. (intransitive, usually to fan out) To move or spread in multiple directions from one point, in the shape of a hand-held fan.
  4. (transitive) To dispel by waving a hand-held fan.
    I attempted to fan the disagreeable odour out of the room.
  5. (firearms, transitive) To perform a maneuver that involves flicking the top rear of an old-style gun.
  6. (metaphoric) To invigorate, like flames when fanned.
  7. To winnow grain.
Related terms
  • (to firing a revolver by holding trigger and hitting hammer) thumbing
Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • French: disperser
  • German: fächern fan, auffächern fan out, verteilen
  • Portuguese: espalhar-se
  • Russian: рассредото́чиваться

fan (plural fans)

  1. A person who is fond of something or someone, especially an admirer of a performer or aficionado of a sport.
    I am a big fan of libraries.
  • seeSynonyms en
Antonyms Translations
Proper noun
  1. A diminutive of Frances.
    • 1917, Edna Ferber, Fanny Herself (page 173)
      Listen, Fan. That cowardly, sickly little boy you fought for in the street, that day in Winnebago, showed every sign of growing up a cowardly, sickly man.



  1. Initialism of file#English|file area#English|area network#English|network.
  2. (brewing) Initialism of free#English|free amino#English|amino nitrogen#English|nitrogen, amino acids available for yeast metabolism.

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