Vane (?), n. [OE. & E. Prov. E. fane weathercock, banner, AS. fana a banner, flag; akin to D. vaan, G. fahne, OHG. fano cloth, gund fano flag, Icel. fani, Sw. fana, Dan. fane, Goth. fana cloth, L. pannus, and perhaps to Gr. a web, a bobbin, spool. Cf. Fanon, Pane a compartment, panel.]

1.

A contrivance attached to some elevated object for the purpose of showing which way the wind blows; a weathercock. It is usually a plate or strip of metal, or slip of wood, often cut into some fanciful form, and placed upon a perpendicular axis around which it moves freely.

Aye undiscreet, and changing as a vane. Chaucer.

2.

Any flat, extended surface attached to an axis and moved by the wind; as, the vane of a windmill; hence, a similar fixture of any form moved in or by water, air, or other fluid; as, the vane of a screw propeller, a fan blower, an anemometer, etc.

3. Zool.

The rhachis and web of a feather taken together.

4.

One of the sights of a compass, quadrant, etc.

Vane of a leveling staff. Surv. Same as Target, 3.

 

© Webster 1913.

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