wind vane

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vane / vān/ • n. a broad blade attached to a rotating axis or wheel that pushes or is pushed by wind or water and forms part of a machine or device such as a windmill, propeller, or turbine. ∎ short for weathervane. ∎  the flat part on either side of the shaft of a feather. ∎  a 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. DERIVATIVES: vaned adj. [usu. in comb.] a three-vaned windmill.ORIGIN: late Middle English: dialect variant of obsolete fane ‘banner,’ of Germanic origin.

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vane plate of metal rotating on a spindle to show the direction of the wind XV; sail of a windmill XVI; sight of a surveying instrument; web of a feather XVIII. south. and western var. of †fane (1) flag, banner, (2) weather-cock, OE. fana = OS., OHG. fano (G. fahne), Goth. fana cloth:- Gmc. *fanan-, rel. to L. pannus piece of cloth.

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vane. Banner-shaped plate of metal, or a weather-cock or -vane, placed on a pivot on a high part of a building, to point towards the direction from which the wind comes.

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vane A device for indicating the direction of wind. The standard exposure for wind vanes is on a mast at 10 m above unobstructed ground.