- Eli reminded me of an older Bob Dylan, his size and wan complexion and his face.
- Judging from his wan appearance, however, it was clear that the show had taken its toll.
- Outside, the once splendid Nevski Prospekt (St. Petersburg's O'Connell Street) is in need of a lick of paint and seems to be trying desperately to become European, but its people are grey and wan.
- Eric Gautier photographed it, with frequent and unnecessary use of the wan light and monochromatic effects that are now high-fashion clichés of their own.
- Instead, our wars exposed the limits of our capability and cast a wan light on many of our cherished illusions.
- One need only stand in the aisle marked Produce to understand how the wan light obscuring the bruised fruit makes all of our decisions more difficult.
- The smile she gave Wanda Bryk was the rueful, wan, chastened smile of someone who had just come through a crying spell.
- ‘Total dedication,’ she said with a somewhat wan smile: she had come in on the day of my visit despite being in intense pain from a suspected slipped disc.
- The woman sitting next to me, a blonde South African wearing jeans and fashionable spectacles looks at me, raises an eyebrow, gives me a wan smile and gets up to leave.
- Example sentences
- And although the resolution wanly concedes Senate complicity in mob murders, it does little to compensate victims of a racist terrorism that was culture-deep.
- Una Vita was published in 1892, and wanly noticed; Senilità, published in 1898, sank into oblivion.
- The mystic overtones of a suffering, bearded and often bare-chested man waving wanly to onlookers gazing up at him have also struck chords.
- Example sentences
- She maintains her wanness behind a cello, bowing away, all woebegone.
- Then he took the perfumed linen sheet, wrapped it round him as a mantle, and turned away, to the wanness of the chill dawn.
- Since that little cloud was dispelled all the temporary waste and wanness have vanished.
Old English wann 'dark, black', of unknown origin.
This is an example of a colour word that has reversed in meaning, like auburn. Until ad 700 wan meant ‘dark, black’, and it did not start to mean ‘pale’ until around 1300. As well as ‘dark’ it originally meant ‘of an unhealthy greyish colour’, particularly of the face of a person who was dead or affected by disease, and this notion of unhealthiness could have provided the connection with ‘pale’.