There are 2 main definitions of wan in English:


Line breaks: wan
Pronunciation: /wɒn


1(Of a person’s complexion or appearance) pale and giving the impression of illness or exhaustion: she was looking wan and bleary-eyed
More example sentences
  • 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.
1.1(Of light) pale; weak: the wan dawn light
More example sentences
  • 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.
1.2(Of a smile) lacking enthusiasm or energy: he gave a wan smile
More example sentences
  • 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.
1.3 literary (Of the sea) without lustre; dark and gloomy.


Old English wann 'dark, black', of unknown origin.



More 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.


Pronunciation: /ˈwɒnnɪs/
More 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.

Definition of wan in:

There are 2 main definitions of wan in English:


Line breaks: WAN


1 Computing Wide area network.
1.1Nigeria (international vehicle registration).
[from West Africa Nigeria]

Definition of wan in: