Definition of vane in English:



  • 1A broad blade attached to a rotating axis or wheel which pushes or is pushed by wind or water and forms part of a machine or device such as a windmill, propeller, or turbine.

    • ‘The wind or air rising through the turbine turns the vanes in the turbine and gets the air moving near the top of the house, drawing moisture out.’
    • ‘All turbine products are similar in that they derive their energy from the action of blades or vanes that spin in response to a force applied upon them.’
    • ‘Early views of Sydney were dominated by the sails of the ships which had propelled the newcomers across the oceans and by the vanes of the windmills which provided the settlement with its first forms of industrial power.’
    • ‘A knowledgeable friend told me, that is also very interesting to pay attention to the position of the windmill vanes when they are at rest.’
    • ‘Advanced technology means the giant vanes of the turbines swivel to search for wind but cut out in stormy conditions.’
    1. 1.1
      short for weathervane
      • ‘Unlike the compass, the vane was clearly a scientific instrument, though the sort that comes in the Home Weather Kit you might give your dad shortly after his retirement.’
      • ‘He also tested and fitted lightning conductors, vanes and weather cocks on the tallest of buildings.’
    2. 1.2The flat part on either side of the shaft of a feather.
      • ‘The facial disk, which lies over the ruff, is composed of feathers with open vanes.’
      • ‘Does this not suggest that early feathers must have had pennaceous vanes at least distally, if the downy bases, or down feathers, were to be effective for insulation?’
      • ‘Shafts and vanes are present in the feathers, but no direct evidence of the shafts remains.’
      • ‘The vane on one side of the feather's spine was wider than the one on the other.’
      • ‘This method is based on the fact that as a feather grows, alternating light and dark bands appear across its vane.’
    3. 1.3A broad, flat projecting surface designed to guide the motion of a projectile, such as a feather on an arrow or a fin on a torpedo.
      • ‘Feathers and vanes work about equally well with less-powerful target crossbows.’
      • ‘Their angle of attack should be very small just to ensure that the air flow comes to the same side on each vane.’
      • ‘For fletching there are two options: either plastic vanes or real feathers.’
      • ‘The first uses multiple airfoil-shaped vanes arrayed around the inner circumference of the exhaust side of the turbo housing.’
      • ‘This rigid plastic curled vane can be taped or glued to the arrow shaft using a normal fletching jig.’


Late Middle English: dialect variant of obsolete fane ‘banner’, of Germanic origin.