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1. A device for creating a current of air or a breeze, especially:
a. A machine using an electric motor to rotate thin, rigid vanes in order to move air, as for cooling.
b. A collapsible, usually wedge-shaped device made of a light material such as silk, paper, or plastic.
2. An implement or machine for winnowing.
3. Something resembling an open fan in shape: a peacock's fan.
v. fanned, fan·ning, fans
1. To move or cause a current of (air) with or as if with a fan.
2. To direct a current of air or a breeze upon, especially in order to cool: fan one's face.
3. To stir (something) up by or as if by fanning: fanned the flames in the fireplace; a troublemaker who fanned resentment among the staff.
4. To open (something) out into the shape of a fan: The bird fanned its colorful tail.
a. To fire (an automatic gun) in a continuous sweep by keeping one's finger on the trigger.
b. To fire (a nonautomatic gun) rapidly by chopping the hammer with the palm.
6. To winnow.
7. Baseball To strike out (a batter).
1. To spread out like a fan: The troops fanned out from the beachhead.
2. Baseball To strike out.
[Middle English, winnowing fan, from Old English fann, from Latin vannus; see wet- in Indo-European roots.]
An ardent devotee; an enthusiast.
[Short for fanatic.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.