wane

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

The noun is derived from Old English wana (defect, shortage); the verb, from Old English wanian via Middle English wanien. Both ultimately trace to a Germanic root *wano-, compare also Dutch waan (insanity) and German Wahn (insanity) deprecated defect, Old Norse vanr (lacking) ( > Danish prefix van-, only found in compounds), Latin vanus, Gothic 𐍅𐌰𐌽𐍃 (wans, missing, lacking), Albanian vonë (late, futile, mentally retarded), Armenian ունայն (unayn, empty), Old Saxon and Old High German wanon (to decrease), Modern Dutch weinig (a few), Modern German weniger (less), comparative of wenig (few) ("-ig" being a derivatem suffix, "-er" the suffix of comparatives).

Noun[edit]

wane (plural wanes)

  1. A gradual diminution in power, value, intensity etc.
    • 1853, Herman Melville, "Bartleby, the Scrivener," in Billy Budd, Sailor and Other Stories, New York: Penguin, 1968; reprinted 1995 as Bartleby, ISBN 0146000129, p. 3,
      In the morning, one might say, his face was of a fine florid hue, but after twelve o'clock, meridian -- his dinner hour -- it blazed like a grate full of Christmas coals; and continued blazing -- but, as it were, with a gradual wane -- till six o'clock, PM, or thereabouts; after which, I saw no more of the proprietor of the face, [...].
    • 1913, Michael Ott, The Catholic Encyclopedia, "Wenzel Anton Kaunitz",
      His influence which was on the wane during the reign of Joseph II grew still less during the reign of Leopold II (1790-2).
  2. The lunar phase during which the sun seems to illuminate less of the moon as its sunlit area becomes less visible from Earth.
    • 1926, H. P. Lovecraft, "The Moon-Bog",
      It was very dark, for although the sky was clear the moon was now well in the wane, and would not rise till the small hours.
  3. (literary) The end of a period.
    Wane siding on a cabin at S.B. Elliott State Park
  4. (woodworking) A rounded corner caused by lack of wood, often showing bark.
    • 2002, Peter Ross, Appraisal and Repair of Timber Structures, p. 11,
      Sapwood, or even bark, may appear on the corners, or may have been cut off, resulting in wane, or missing timber.
Synonyms[edit]
Usage notes[edit]
  • When referring to the moon or a time period, the word is found mostly in prepositional phrases like in or on the wane.
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

wane (third-person singular simple present wanes, present participle waning, simple past and past participle waned)

  1. (intransitive) To progressively lose its splendor, value, ardor, power, intensity etc.; to decline.
    • John Dryden (1631-1700)
      You saw but sorrow in its waning form.
    • Sir Josiah Child (1630-1699)
      Land and trade ever will wax and wane together.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, Chapter 118:
      I have sat before the dense coal fire and watched it all aglow, full of its tormented flaming life; and I have seen it wane at last, down, down, to dumbest dust.
    • 1902, John Masefield, "The Golden City of St. Mary":
      And in the cool twilight when the sea-winds wane []
    • 1922, Michael Arlen, “Ep./1/1”, in “Piracy”: A Romantic Chronicle of These Days:
      And so it had always pleased M. Stutz to expect great things from the dark young man whom he had first seen in his early twenties ; and his expectations had waxed rather than waned on hearing the faint bruit of the love of Ivor and Virginia—for Virginia, M. Stutz thought, would bring fineness to a point in a man like Ivor Marlay, […].
  2. (intransitive) Said of light that dims or diminishes in strength.
  3. (intransitive, astronomy) Said of the Moon as its through the phases of its monthly cycle during which its visible surface is progressively decrease.
    • 1866, Sabine Baring-Gould, Curious Myths of the Middle Ages, "The Man in the Moon":
      The fall of Jack, and the subsequent fall of Jill, simply represent the vanishing of one moon-spot after another, as the moon wanes.
  4. (intransitive) Said of a time period that comes to an end.
  5. (intransitive, archaic) To decrease physically in size, amount, numbers or surface.
    • 1815, Walter Scott, Guy Mannering, chapter XIX:
      The snow which had been for some time waning, had given way entirely under the fresh gale of the preceding night.
    • 2012 August 30, Ann Gibbons, “Genome Brings Ancient Girl to Life”, Science Now, accessed on 2012-09-04:
      Denisovans had little genetic diversity, suggesting that their small population waned further as populations of modern humans expanded.
  6. (transitive, obsolete) To cause to decrease.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Ben Jonson to this entry?)
Translations[edit]
Antonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Scots wean.

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

wane (plural wanes)

  1. (Scotland, slang) A child.

Etymology 3[edit]

Middle English wōne, wāne (dwelling," "custom), of unclear origins, compare wont.

Alternative forms[edit]

  • wone (Southern England)

Noun[edit]

wane (plural wanes)

  1. (chiefly Northern England and Scotland, obsolete) A house or dwelling.

Anagrams[edit]


Dutch[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

wane

  1. singular present subjunctive of wanen