Main definitions of fan in English

: fan1fan2

fan1

noun

  • 1An apparatus with rotating blades that creates a current of air for cooling or ventilation.

    ‘a couple of ceiling fans, lazily turning’
    ‘the kitchen may need to be fitted with an extractor fan’
    • ‘The burning gases keep the shaft turning by rotating a fan before exiting the engine.’
    • ‘The court is also mechanically ventilated by exhaust fans at the roof level to prevent hot air build-up.’
    • ‘Lights, ceiling fans and the all-important sockets for charging camera batteries run from a generator.’
    • ‘Flicking it on, I opened my door, as the ceiling fan started to rotate.’
    • ‘Ventilation fans and water pumps to prevent the pit flooding were switched off the following month.’
    • ‘Ceiling fans that keep you cool in summer also can save energy in winter.’
    • ‘All offices have ceiling fans to create localised cooling and support the natural cross-venting action.’
    • ‘But the Ceramic World factory has no windows for ventilation and only large fans fixed to the ceiling.’
    • ‘The fluids that lubricate the parts can be mechanically cooled by fans.’
    • ‘Amusingly, as it stirred the hot air in the room, it caused the ceiling fan to rotate slowly.’
    • ‘Once the car gets cool, then you can obviously switch off the air conditioner and let the fan rotate the cool air.’
    • ‘In yet another room was a small piece consisting of two electric fans with their blades replaced by rods with twists of leaves at the end.’
    • ‘An extractor fan was provided for ventilating the equipment room.’
    • ‘Be sure home has adequate ventilation, including exhaust fans in kitchen and bathrooms.’
    • ‘Before searing the meat, turn on the ventilation fan over the stove.’
    • ‘Also a 120 mm fan will be a lot quieter then an 80 mm fan moving the same amount of air.’
    • ‘A simple and less draconian solution would be to install a duct in the ceiling with an extractor fan.’
    • ‘Some had secretly brought smog masks, others little portable fans to create some cool relief.’
    • ‘It's all about letting through a flow of air, which is then whipped up by a ceiling fan to cool you naturally.’
    • ‘The only thing that everyone could hear was the sound of the ceiling fan rotating.’
    air cooler, air conditioner, ventilator, blower, aerator
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A small sail for keeping the head of a windmill towards the wind.
      • ‘While the previous windmill designs are for larger structures that could service entire towns, the fan-type windmill is made specifically for individuals.’
  • 2A handheld device, typically folding and shaped like a segment of a circle when spread out, that is waved so as to cool the person holding it.

    ‘the girls were giggling behind their fans’
    • ‘They would wave their fans to show off their grace when composing or thinking about poetry.’
    • ‘The girls all blushed deeply and giggled behind their fluttering fans.’
    • ‘How do you walk downstairs in heels, waving giant fans, singing a song, looking at these guys like you love it.’
    • ‘Sammy felt like whipping out a paper fan and waving it crazily in front of her face.’
    • ‘Well-prepared with umbrellas and caps, spectators waved fans or improvised from whatever was at hand to fight the heat.’
    • ‘I presume she thought the rarity of the day justified her unorthodox behaviour in an era when ladies were expected to remain giggling behind their fans.’
    • ‘Anzuko was drawing a portrait of Suzume for fun while Suzume posed by lying down and holding an open fan casually.’
    • ‘It had an open fan with a cherry blossom on one of the outspread ribs, and it also had a tiny dragon perched on the tip of a rib.’
    • ‘Waving a fan for nearly 12 hours continuously, with just a break for lunch, could make anyone's arms sore.’
    1. 2.1 A thing resembling an open fan.
      as modifier ‘fan vaulting’
      • ‘Then it stood tall, unfolding its wings to their full fan of circle and began to shimmer the wing feathers, so that they scattered sunlight like jewels.’
      • ‘Its big black wings spread like fans across the blazing sky.’
      • ‘Needles of light, frozen rays, shot out from her back, spreading out like a fan, with a thin light webbing in between each.’
    2. 2.2 A fan-shaped alluvial or talus deposit at the foot of a slope.
      ‘there are great waste fans at the foot of the Andes in the desert’
      • ‘The Lower Eocene Sulov Basin close to the Pieniny Klippen Belt is a kilometre-thick pile of dolomite gravel, rapidly deposited in a fan.’
      • ‘Each terrace represents a fan of younger pyroclastic deposits infilling valleys cut in older fans.’
      • ‘Alluvial fans and related phenomena are depositional landforms which form a continuum.’
      • ‘Up to 2000 m of alluvial fan and fan delta deposits of early Cretaceous age are preserved in the Coastal Cordillera.’
      • ‘The town of Putre is built on top of one of these major pyroclastic fans.’

verb

  • 1with object Cool (someone or something) by waving an object to create a current of air.

    ‘he fanned himself with his hat’
    • ‘Thus, while all the pretty girls flipped their hair around the boys then, I could only act as the servants of these girls - fanning them and feeding them seedless grapes while looking up at them in adoration.’
    • ‘Fat, perspiring men and women were furiously fanning paper plates in a doomed effort to circulate the stale air.’
    • ‘A fat woman in a red and beige dress busily fanned herself while her male escort gazed longingly at the other women when he knew his wife was busy eyeing the young men.’
    • ‘The heat would make Joy's condition much worse. Dewi would sit and fan Joy for several hours.’
    • ‘For the next three or four months, while the youngsters mature, the foundress cleans the nest regularly and helps keep it cool by fanning her wings.’
    • ‘He spends the next half an hour lying on the floor sipping sugary squash through a straw with a nurse fanning his face with his copy of The Mail and muttering occasionally and indecipherably to his colleagues.’
    • ‘I used my hand to fan my face, which felt ridiculously hot.’
    • ‘He just watched me with serene but knowing eyes, and looked as dignified as if he were sitting on a throne being fanned by people with ferns.’
    • ‘With no relief from the beating sun, tourists fanned themselves with brochures and wrapped T-shirts around their heads.’
    • ‘Males continuously fan the eggs to aerate them and to prevent silt from settling on them.’
    • ‘Socialites decked out in their finest Chanel tweeds fanned themselves with their invitation cards as temperatures climbed inside the venue, a stone's throw from the Louvre museum.’
    • ‘I'm always tickled pink whenever I recall the time when my mother was fanning me to sleep with her palm-leaf fan though I do not intend to trade the air-conditioner for a palm-leaf fan.’
    • ‘Gladiator breathed deeply, taking off his red vest briefly and fanning himself with it.’
    • ‘Some people were walking up and down just to keep cool while mums were fanning their children.’
    • ‘I remember waking up and I had a guy, Clayton Tippett, fanning me, because it was really, really hot, very hot in there, and he was just fanning me for hours.’
    • ‘I sat back down in my seat and restrained myself from fanning my face where heat still lingered in my cheeks from our close encounter.’
    • ‘When the weather turns hot, workers fan their wings at the entrance to the hive, cooling it.’
    cool, air, aerate, blow, ventilate
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of breath or a breeze) blow gently on.
      ‘his breath fanned her skin as he leant towards her’
      • ‘But Sato continued on sleeping, his breath fanning Tenkou's trembling hands.’
      • ‘He was so close that she could feel his rapid exhalations of breath gently fanning her face.’
      • ‘She kept writing and continued to ignore him until she felt him softly kiss the side of her neck, his breath fanning the sensitive area there.’
      • ‘Instead, I want to swig lush, long, refreshing mixed drinks that make me feel I am lolling about on a beach fanned by a cool sea breeze.’
      • ‘Morning came, the gods painting the sky oranges, lavenders, and pinks, the air was cool, and a breeze fanned past my face, making me think of times long dead.’
      • ‘Ally walked out of the building and onto the always-bustling street, a light breeze fanning her shoulder-length, caramel-blond hair out behind her.’
      • ‘‘Are you okay,’ he whispered, his hands still resting on my face, his breath softly fanning across my skin.’
      • ‘The lake looked cold and still, although a slight breeze gently fanned its surface so that it seemed to have gills.’
    2. 1.2with object and adverbial of direction Brush or drive away with a waving movement.
      ‘a veil of smoke which she fanned away with a jewelled hand’
      • ‘I looked up, fanning away the smoke with one hand until I could make out the form of my brother Jason.’
      • ‘She fanned away the steam trekking to the small mirror.’
      • ‘Scrunching up her nose (that made her look cute, too) Zahra fanned away the smoke with her manicured hand.’
      • ‘‘That's not how I see it,’ he retorted, fanning away the smoke.’
      • ‘It seemed that every time he fanned away some sand with either his fins or his hands he revealed something remarkable.’
    3. 1.3Ice Hockey Baseball no object Swing unsuccessfully at the ball or puck.
      ‘he had fanned 37 times in 83 at-bats’
      • ‘Already showing off his remarkable combination of discipline and delivery, he drew 114 walks while fanning only 75 times.’
      • ‘Esposito fanned on a long shot by Jacques Lemaire, then Henri Richard scored twice to give the Habs the championship.’
      • ‘The Cincinnati ace threw 187 pitches - including 14 full counts - while fanning 12 and walking 10.’
      • ‘In this day of home runs and strikeouts, I would like to know how many players have hit 40 home runs in a season without fanning more than 50 times?’
      • ‘He fanned seven and walked three before handing the ball over to Lin Ying-jeh.’
    4. 1.4Baseball Strike out (a batter)
      ‘Norris fanned nine batters with his screwball’
      • ‘The Steinbach ace faced only 15 batters in the contest, fanning 13 of them.’
      • ‘The team hopes Service returns to his 1998 form, when he fanned 95 batters in 82 2/3 innings.’
      • ‘Pitcher Troy Pruess blew the Brothers batters from the box, conceding just three hits and fanning 12 batters at the plate.’
  • 2with object Increase the strength of (a fire) by blowing on it or stirring up the air near it.

    ‘fanned by an easterly wind, the fire spread rapidly’
    • ‘The fire was well ventilated due to broken glazing and the 30 mph wind helped fan the fire to the extreme intensity it was at when we arrived.’
    • ‘Dragon and I began blowing and fanning the baby fire.’
    • ‘That fire is being fanned by strong Santa Ana winds.’
    • ‘High winds have been fanning the flames and the fire has spread as far as Didsbury Intake, which contains an area of woodland.’
    • ‘‘The fire was fanned by howling winds and 25 farmers and labourers managed to bring it under control,’ he said.’
    • ‘Firefighters are taking advantage of a break from the powerful Santa Ana winds that have fanned the flames with gusts up to 70 miles an hour.’
    • ‘We have already experienced large fires, fanned by Westerly winds, in the Tenterfield area.’
    • ‘Firefighters had been monitoring hotspots but there were worries that increasing wind might fan the flames.’
    • ‘KING WILLIAM'S TOWN - A fire fanned by strong winds was burning out of control in the Kubusi forests near Stutterheim yesterday.’
    • ‘According to a fire service spokesman, acres of mature Coillte land and a number of private forests in the area were decimated by the flames which were fanned by strong winds and reached 30 ft at stages.’
    • ‘Crews with ten engines spent more than two hours trying to bring the blaze under control as brisk winds fanned the flames towards homes.’
    • ‘Nieuwoudt said although the immediate danger for the town had passed, the fire, fanned by hot and dry gale-force berg winds, was still burning.’
    • ‘The wind was fanning the fires which still burn at the site and the smoke was billowing upwards, illuminated by the huge arc lights that had been rushed to the scene from the MTV studios on September 11.’
    • ‘Portugal is battling its most devastating forest fires for a decade, as strong wind fan the flames.’
    • ‘As the fire - fanned by strong winds - started to spread across Hurst Moor, north east of Reeth, officers at the scene requested additional support from Hawes and Masham.’
    • ‘The devastating fire, which was fanned by strong winds, destroyed approximately 850 of the 7300 hectares of pine plantations and left more than 400000 pine trees destroyed.’
    • ‘The stream of water that spurted from the hose did less to douse the fire than it did to fan the flames with its accompanying rush of air.’
    • ‘The Alis said the flames were higher than the trees in the playground opposite and other residents were relieved the wind was fanning the fire away from properties.’
    • ‘So here in normally lovely Marin, we are blanketed with smoke thick with particulate matter, blown in courtesy of offshore winds that are fanning the flames of a fire out of control up in Yolo county.’
    • ‘The fire is the latest of a number in Central Australia which have swept through country carrying high fuel loads and are fanned by the unpredictable gusty conditions that the area experiences in October.’
    stir up, whip up, encourage, incite, stoke up, fuel, kindle, ignite, inflame, stimulate, instigate, provoke, excite, arouse, awaken, waken, inspire, trigger, spark off, ferment, foment
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Cause (a belief or emotion) to become stronger or more widespread.
      ‘a fury fanned by press coverage’
      • ‘And it is no longer the province of secularists and the left, but is increasingly fanned by religionists and the right.’
      • ‘Race hatred was aflame, fanned by the rhetoric of confrontation.’
      • ‘They select those news reports that are consistent with their preferred thinking, especially those that fan national emotions.’
      • ‘But this blatantly sterile narcissism, especially when fanned by massive and intrusive media coverage, is psychologically damaging to the celebrities themselves.’
      • ‘Oil prices above US $38 a barrel recently in New York fanned worries about the impact on the global economy of high energy prices.’
      • ‘Iraeli-Palestinian problems are likely also to increase, which will fan the resistance fires even more.’
      • ‘A week of violence, triggered by the shooting in custody of a student and fanned by local hatred of the gendarmerie, has left at least 40 people dead, according to medical sources and residents.’
      • ‘It reflects a wider debate, fanned by bitterly hostile coverage of the tube strikes in much of the media.’
      • ‘A person who has declared his intentions for repeating the pogrom, outside Gujarat should not be allowed to roam about fanning communal hatred and passion.’
      • ‘Protests by irate seniors continue, and their anger is being fanned by the Communist and other leftist parties.’
      • ‘There was a mounting enthusiasm for change, fanned by effective use of secular and religious press.’
      • ‘The British National Party and National Front have fanned the resulting social tensions.’
      • ‘The fact that a women's race commands as much attention, fan enthusiasm and media coverage as the men's race is really encouraging, too.’
      • ‘In this view, Americans' obliviousness ended with an outbreak of nostalgia at the turn of the century, fanned by general concern over the heedless pace of industrial society.’
      • ‘The crowd began to mutter angrily, the glowing embers of their ancient prejudices that had been viciously stoked by the near murder of their King were being fanned to fury so easily by the power of the monarch's simple words.’
      • ‘With so much potentially at stake, this politically charged issue is fanning a fiercely emotional debate.’
      • ‘This process is built on a foundation of fear and is fanned by economic and political pressures.’
      • ‘People's fears, often fanned by anti-bat hysteria in the media about the danger of contracting bat-carried diseases, have made bats political pawns.’
      intensify, increase, agitate, inflame, exacerbate
      View synonyms
  • 3fan outno object Disperse or radiate from a central point to cover a wide area.

    ‘the arriving passengers began to fan out through the town in search of lodgings’
    • ‘In targeted sampling, interviewers fan out into targeted areas to conduct interviews over the course of several days.’
    • ‘The soldiers fanned away from the lift, and nearly passed out from the heat.’
    • ‘The commandos fan out to various areas on the ship and, after tense moments, the radio crackles into life: Pandey has taken control of the ship and his men are conducting the search.’
    • ‘The number of dead is rising as volunteers and Pakistan Army troops fan out to remote areas and pull more bodies from the debris.’
    • ‘In addition to the areas where the delegates are concentrated, we began to fan out to other areas.’
    • ‘Searchers are fanning out over a wide area today.’
    spread, open, branch, stretch
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 Spread out or cause to spread out into a semicircular shape.
      no object ‘a dress made of tiny pleats that fanned out as she walked’
      with object ‘a wind fanned her hair out behind her’
      • ‘Her short brown hair fanned out as she cocked her head to the side.’
      • ‘It fanned out and lay open on the floor, just an ordinary white cloth upon a stoneworked floor.’
      • ‘Their straplike leaves, smooth, shiny, and thick, fan out symmetrically around a central cup (called a tank) to form a neat rosette.’
      • ‘She had short, wavy brown hair that fanned out at the ends, and lovely facial features accented by eyebrows that gave her an incredible air of confidence and superiority.’
      • ‘Shortly after the stellar material collapses, a light-producing shock wave begins to fan out from the region of collapse.’

Phrases

  • fan the flames (of something)

    • Cause an emotion such as anger or hatred to become stronger.

      ‘instead of being a calming force you fanned the flames of hostility’
      • ‘At a national level, the centre-right coalition Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has been accused of fanning the flames of anti-foreigner discrimination.’
      • ‘There was a very important decision handed down on December 29, which fanned the flames under the debate about casualisation in the workforce.’
      • ‘In domestic politics, isolation in Europe fans the flames of Euroscepticism.’
      • ‘Their annoyance at an apparent inconvenience, more than anything, was what fanned the flames of a cause célèbre.’
      • ‘Indeed, her words seem to have fanned the flames.’
      • ‘Hopelessly naive, Velma quickly learns to play the game, concocting ever more elaborate lies to fan the flames of her notoriety.’
      • ‘Worryingly last week, researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University were in danger of fanning the flames.’
      • ‘Brown can never, ever, resist fanning the flames of controversy.’
      • ‘Darcy did not want to fan the flames of her anger.’
      • ‘What's worse they're clearly showing the script to outside parties (historians, etc) in the hopes of fanning the flames.’
      stir up, whip up, encourage, incite, stoke up, fuel, kindle, ignite, inflame, stimulate, instigate, provoke, excite, arouse, awaken, waken, inspire, trigger, spark off, ferment, foment
      View synonyms

Origin

Old English fann (as a noun denoting a device for winnowing grain), fannian (verb), from Latin vannus ‘winnowing fan’. Compare with vane.

Pronunciation

fan

/fan/

Main definitions of fan in English

: fan1fan2

fan2

noun

  • A person who has a strong interest in or admiration for a particular person or thing.

    ‘football fans’
    ‘I'm a fan of this author’
    • ‘Back in the match and with 7,500 fans behind him, Agassi did what he does best.’
    • ‘Anyway, a fan waving a banner invaded the pitch in the last seconds of a Swiss-Portuguese match.’
    • ‘Although I pretend not to be, I am a football fan, but there is room for other sports on TV surely.’
    • ‘Basically there are football fans and then there are sports fans.’
    • ‘It is anyone's guess how many spectators will take an interest and even become fans of the sport.’
    • ‘Mexico is a nation of sports fans and car enthusiasts.’
    • ‘For example, there could be exclusive packages for die-hard film fans and inveterate sports enthusiasts.’
    • ‘With their white hankies, the Catalan fans seemed to be waving goodbye to the league title.’
    • ‘While some women are avid football fans, others are more reserved about the sport.’
    • ‘Once the Melbourne sports fans enter the hypnotic state of football fever, nothing and I repeat, nothing will get them out of it.’
    • ‘Here's a website that will interest fans of adventure newspaper strips.’
    • ‘We simply cannot recommend it highly enough - not just for hurling aficionados but for sports fans everywhere.’
    • ‘With increasing numbers of African players in the British leagues, the tournament will be of huge interest to sports fans.’
    • ‘The company's smart card reward scheme allows clubs to cut the cost of football for fans and collect valuable marketing information for the club.’
    • ‘Now Shapiro has been left with the task of fielding a strong enough team to keep the fans interested.’
    • ‘And he has urged fans to keep spreading the word about the new club so that more people come on board before the new season.’
    • ‘More than in other sports, football fans recollect jerseys and numbers as opposed to faces.’
    • ‘I know most of you aren't sports fans, but I'm excited about the upcoming football season.’
    • ‘When he reached his van he leapt on to its roof, waving to fans, flashing a victory sign, blowing kisses and giving a small dance.’
    • ‘She has flirted with crossover material, but her popular appeal has in no way diminished the admiration of classical fans.’
    enthusiast, devotee, admirer, lover, addict
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 19th century (originally US): abbreviation of fanatic.

Pronunciation

fan

/fan/