synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of van in English

English Online Dictionary. What means van‎? What does van mean?

  • enPR: văn, IPA(key): /væn/
  • Rhymes: -æn

Short for caravan.

van (plural vans)

  1. A covered motor vehicle used to carry goods or (normally less than ten) persons, usually roughly cuboid in shape, Depending on the type of van, it can be bigger or smaller than a pickup truck and SUV, and longer and higher than a car but relatively smaller than a truck/lorry or a bus.
    Synonyms: (chiefly if used to carry a few people; "minivan" is officially used in North America) minivan, minibus
  2. (British) An enclosed railway vehicle for transport of goods, such as a boxcar/box van.
  3. (dated) A light wagon, either covered or open, used by tradesmen and others for the transportation of goods.
  4. (aerospace) A large towable vehicle equipped for the repair of structures that cannot easily be moved.

van (third-person singular simple present vans, present participle vanning, simple past and past participle vanned)

  1. (transitive) To transport in a van or similar vehicle (especially of horses).
  2. (Internet slang, used in passive voice) Of law enforcement: to arrest (not necessarily in a van; derived from party van).
    • 2015 13-year-old credited with hacking CIA director’s AOL account gives bizarre, possibly final interview
      The hacker says he thinks he is about to be v&, or “vanned,” meaning being raided by law enforcement, sometime soon.
  • v&
  • lorry
  • transit (UK)
  • truck

Shortening of vanguard.

van (plural vans)

  1. Clipping of vanguard.

From Cornish.

van (plural vans)

  1. (mining) A shovel used in cleansing ore.

van (third-person singular simple present vans, present participle vanning, simple past and past participle vanned)

  1. (mining) To wash or cleanse, as a small portion of ore, on a shovel.
  • vanner

From Latin vannus (a van, or fan for winnowing grain): compare French van and English fan, winnow. Doublet of fan.

van (plural vans)

  1. A fan or other contrivance, such as a sieve, for winnowing grain.
  2. A wing with which the air is beaten.
  • vane
  • “van”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.
  • “van”, in The Century Dictionary [], New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911, →OCLC.
  • AVN, NAV, NVA, nav

From Dutch van (from; of).

  • IPA(key): /fan/


  1. of
  2. from
  • se


  1. (used with a following definite article) some of (the)

From French vent.


  1. air
  2. wind
  3. breath
  4. intestinal gas
  • varen (auxiliary)
  • vanen (Alghero, main verb)
  • IPA(key): (Central) [ˈban]
  • IPA(key): (Balearic, Valencia) [ˈvan]


  1. third-person plural present indicative of anar
    Van al cinema.They go to the cinema.
  2. (auxiliary, with infinitive) third-person plural present indicative of anar
    Van anar al cinema.They went to the cinema.
  • (wān), 𨋍

From English van.


  1. (Hong Kong Cantonese, often in compounds) van; minibus; vehicle (Classifier: c)
    • 我見架架van都係以9.9秒落貨,之後逃去無蹤嘅。 [Cantonese, trad.]
      我见架架van都系以9.9秒落货,之后逃去无踪嘅。 [Cantonese, simp.]
      From: 2017, 留意思, 香港劏居, chapter 13
      ngo5 gin3 gaa3 gaa3 wen1 dou1 hai6 ji5 9.9 miu5 lok6 fo3, zi1 hau6 tou4 heoi3 mou4 zung1 ge3. [Jyutping]
      (please add an English translation of this usage example)
  • IPA(key): [ˈvan]
  • Hyphenation: van

van m inan

  1. (archaic, poetic) breeze (light, gentle wind)

See the etymology of the corresponding lemma form.

van f

  1. genitive plural of vana
  • van in Příruční slovník jazyka českého, 1935–1957
  • van in Slovník spisovného jazyka českého, 1960–1971, 1989
  • van in Internetová jazyková příručka

From Old Norse vanr (pl vanir (one of two groups of gods in Norse mythology)).

  • IPA(key): /vaːn/, [væːˀn]

van c (singular definite vanen, plural indefinite vaner)

  1. one of the Vanir

From English van.

  • IPA(key): /vaːn/, [væːn]

van c (singular definite vanen, plural indefinite vaner)

  1. van

From Old Norse vanr (wont, accustomed).

  • IPA(key): /van/, [van]


  1. (dated) pleje van – nurse, take care of
  • Has been replaced by vant ("usual", "customary").

From Middle Dutch van, from Old Dutch fan (from), from Proto-Germanic *fanē, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂poneh₁ (from), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂epo, *h₂pó (off, of). Cognate with Old Saxon fana, fan (from), Old Frisian fan, fon (from), Old High German fona, fon (from).

  • IPA(key): /vɑn/
  • (Northern) [fɑn]
  • (Suriname) [fan]
  • Hyphenation: van
  • Rhymes: -ɑn


  1. of (possession, property)
  2. of (general association)
  3. by, of (creator)
  4. from (origin)
  5. from (starting point of a movement or change)
  6. from (starting point in time)
  7. from, off (removal of something from off something else)
  8. of, out of, from, with (cause)
  9. of, out of, with (material or resource)
  10. of, out of, among (out of a larger whole; partitive)
  11. from, was, formerly (indicating a change in price)
  12. (colloquial) like (quotative (used to introduce direct speech))
    Ik dacht van hé wat gek. — I thought, hey, how strange.
  • Afrikaans: van
  • Berbice Creole Dutch: fan
  • Javindo: fan
  • Jersey Dutch: vān, fān, f'n
  • Negerhollands: van, fan, fa
    • Virgin Islands Creole: fam
  • Skepi Creole Dutch: fan


  1. of, from
    Ik neem er tien van. — I’ll take ten of them.
  2. from
    Ik vertrek van daar. — I’ll start from there.
  3. by, from
    Ik word er gek van. — It drives me crazy.
    Men wordt daar sloom van. — It turns one numb.
  4. of, about
    Wat zegt u daar van? — What do you say about that?
    Ik weet daar niks van. — I don’t know anything about that.
  • daarvan
  • ervan

van m (plural vans or vannen)

  1. A surname or nickname beginning with the preposition van.
  2. Any surname.
    Synonyms: achternaam, familienaam
  • uit
  • IPA(key): /vɑ̃/

Latin vannus

van m (plural vans)

  1. a winnowing basket

Borrowed from English van.

van m (plural vans)

  1. a horse trailer
    • Adolphe de Neuter, Mémoires d'un entraîneur, volume 1: La casaque rose, Paris: Imprimerie Kapp, 1925, p. 145
  • “van”, in Trésor de la langue française informatisé [Digitized Treasury of the French Language], 2012.
  • vao
  • vão (reintegrationist)

From Old Galician-Portuguese vão (13th century, Cantigas de Santa Maria), from Latin vānus (empty). Cognate with Portuguese vão and Spanish vano.

van (feminine va, masculine plural vans, feminine plural vas)

  1. empty, devoid of content, containing only air
  2. useless, ineffective
  3. (of a person) vacuous, trivial-minded

van m (plural vans)

  1. waist
  2. empty, vacant
  • en van


  1. third-person plural present indicative of ir
  • Ernesto González Seoane, María Álvarez de la Granja, Ana Isabel Boullón Agrelo (20062022) “vão”, in Dicionario de Dicionarios do galego medieval (in Galician), Santiago de Compostela: ILG
  • Xavier Varela Barreiro, Xavier Gómez Guinovart (20062018) “vão”, in Corpus Xelmírez - Corpus lingüístico da Galicia medieval (in Galician), Santiago de Compostela: ILG
  • “van” in Dicionario de Dicionarios da lingua galega, SLI - ILGA 2006–2013.
  • “van” in Tesouro informatizado da lingua galega. Santiago: ILG.
  • “van” in Álvarez, Rosario (coord.): Tesouro do léxico patrimonial galego e portugués, Santiago de Compostela: Instituto da Lingua Galega.

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

van m (plural vans)

  1. (agriculture) winnowing machine

From French vent (wind).

  • IPA(key): /vã/


  1. wind

From Old Hungarian vagyon. See Hungarian volt.

  • Forms beginning with v- are from Proto-Finno-Ugric *wole- (to be). Cognate with Northern Mansi о̄луӈкве (ōluňkwe), Finnish olla and Estonian olema. Compare inflected forms such as volt, volna, való and Old Hungarian vola or vala. See also vagy for the stem in present tense.
  • Forms beginning with l- are from Proto-Finno-Ugric *le- (to become). Cognate with Finnish lienee (potential of olla), Karelian lienöy (potential of olla), Northern Sami leat.
  • IPA(key): [ˈvɒn]
  • Rhymes: -ɒn


  1. (copulative) to be
    Antonym: nem…
    Boldog vagyok.I am happy.
  2. there to be, to exist
    Synonyms: létezik, található
    Antonym: nincs
    Van itt valaki?Is there anybody here?
  3. to have; someone (-nak/-nek) has something (-a/-e/-ja/-je)
    Péternek van egy kutyája.Peter has a dog.
  4. to be made (out) of something (with -ból/-ből)
    Synonym: készült
    Ez az ajtó fából van.This door is made out of wood.
  5. (auxiliary, construed with -va/-ve (adverbial participle) of the main verb) to be (indicating the statal passive)
    A lakásom biztosítva van. (from biztosítvabiztosít)My apartment (flat) is (has been) insured.
    A probléma meg van oldva. (from megoldvamegold)The issue is (has been) solved.

The functions of this verb don’t fully overlap with the usage of corresponding verbs of other languages (compare Spanish ser, estar or Thai คือ (kʉʉ), เป็น (bpen), อยู่ (yùu)):

  • Van egy törpe a zsebemben.   or   Törpe van a zsebemben.There is a dwarf in my pocket.existence (used with an indefinite subject)
  • [Nekem] van egy zsebtörpém.I have a pocket-dwarf. (literally, “[to me] there is a pocket-dwarf-my”)possession
  • A törpe a zsebemben van.The dwarf is in my pocket.location (used with a prepositional phrase in English)
  • A törpe jól van.The dwarf is well.state, condition (used with an adverb in English)
  • A törpe kicsi .The dwarf is small.copula (used with an adjective or a noun as part of the predicate)
  • As we can see, the verb is omitted in the last sentence. It happens only in the given sense and only in the present-tense third-person singular and plural forms (“he/she/it” and “they”):
    When used with an adjective (qualification) or a noun (whether with the definite or the indefinite article), i.e. when it answers the question who? or what? (including what …… like?) or which?, the (indicative present third-person) forms van and vannak are omitted:
    Béla okos.Béla is clever.
    Béla a király.Béla is the king.
    Béla egy ember.Béla is a human.
    On the other hand, if is or are answers the question where? or how?, these verb forms will appear as usual:
    Béla itt van.Béla is here.
    Béla jól van.Béla is (feeling) well.
    It also appears if van/vannak is the focus of the sentence. This happens when the sentence means that the property described by the adjective (e.g. strength) reaches or exceeds some specified level and this is emphasized by the speaker. In this case, the adjective is preceded by a word like olyan (such), annyira (that much), elég (enough).
    Béla van annyira erős, hogy felemelje a szekrényt.Béla is strong enough to lift the cupboard.
    The forms other than van and vannak are always used.
    Béla okos volt.Béla was clever.
    Okos vagyok.I am clever.
    In other senses, all forms are used:
    With adverbs and adverbial participles (suffixed -va/-ve)
    Hogy van?How is he? (also How are you?, formal singular)
    El van törve.It is broken.
  • The negative form is nincs or nincsen and sincs or sincsen (the latter two expressing “is not … either”).
    Nincs pénzem.I don't have any money.
    Itt sincs étel.There 'isn’t any food here either.
  • If the predicate includes an adjective or a noun, that is, if it answers the question who, what etc. (see above), the third person present forms are omitted again, only nem remains:
    Béla nem tanár.Béla is not a teacher.

(exist, there is, to have): (have is expressed by there is in Hungarian):

  • Van egy ház a hegyen.There is a house on the mountain.
    Van egy kutyám.I have a dog. (literally, “There is a dog-[of]-mine.”)

(With verbal prefixes):

  • (all verb senses): van in Bárczi, Géza and László Országh. A magyar nyelv értelmező szótára (‘The Explanatory Dictionary of the Hungarian Language’, abbr.: ÉrtSz.). Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1959–1962. Fifth ed., 1992: →ISBN
  • ([dialectal] synonym of the noun vagyon): van in Bárczi, Géza and László Országh. A magyar nyelv értelmező szótára (‘The Explanatory Dictionary of the Hungarian Language’, abbr.: ÉrtSz.). Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1959–1962. Fifth ed., 1992: →ISBN

Borrowed from English van.

  • IPA(key): /vɛn/


  1. van

van (comparative plus van, superlative le plus van)

  1. vain, futile
  2. vain, worthless
  3. vain, conceited

van (apocopated)

  1. Apocopic form of vano

Borrowed from English van.

van f (genitive singular van, plural vannyn)

  1. van (vehicle)
  • carr

From Old Dutch fan, from Proto-Germanic *fanē.


  1. of
  2. from (a place, person)
  3. from (a time)
  4. out of
  5. from, out of, because of
  • Dutch: van
    • Afrikaans: van
    • Berbice Creole Dutch: fan
    • Javindo: fan
    • Jersey Dutch: vān, fān, f'n
    • Negerhollands: van, fan, fa
      • Virgin Islands Creole: fam
    • Skepi Creole Dutch: fan
  • Limburgish: ven
  • “van”, in Vroegmiddelnederlands Woordenboek, 2000
  • Verwijs, E., Verdam, J. (1885–1929) “van (I)”, in Middelnederlandsch Woordenboek, The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, →ISBN, page I


  1. va + an, from a, of a
  • “van” in Cimbrian, Ladin, Mòcheno: Getting to know 3 peoples. 2015. Servizio minoranze linguistiche locali della Provincia autonoma di Trento, Trento, Italy.

From Old Norse vanr.

van (neuter vant, definite singular and plural vane)

  1. being used to (doing) something
  • vand
  • ven, venn
  • venja

From Old Norse vanr m.

van m (definite singular vanen, indefinite plural vaner or vanar, definite plural vanene or vanane)

  1. (Norse mythology) one of the Vanir

Borrowed from Dutch van (of, from), ultimately from Proto-Germanic *fanē. Doublet of von.


  1. Used in Dutch surnames.
  • “van” in The Nynorsk Dictionary.
  • NAV, nav
  • wan

Unadapted borrowing from English van.

  • IPA(key): /van/
  • Rhymes: -an
  • Syllabification: van

van m inan

  1. van (covered motor vehicle used to carry goods or (normally less than ten) persons, usually roughly cuboid in shape, longer and higher than a car but relatively smaller than a truck/lorry or a bus)
    Synonym: pojazd wielozadaniowy
    Hyponym: minivan
  • van in Wielki słownik języka polskiego, Instytut Języka Polskiego PAN
  • van in Polish dictionaries at PWN
  • van in PWN's encyclopedia

Unadapted borrowing from English van.

  • Homophones: Van, (Brazil)
  • Rhymes: -ɐ̃

van f (plural vans)

  1. (Brazil) van (a covered vehicle used for carrying goods)
    Synonym: furgão

Borrowed from Latin vānus, Italian vano.

  • IPA(key): /van/

van m or n (feminine singular vană, masculine plural vani, feminine and neuter plural vane)

  1. vain
  2. futile
  3. idle
  4. fruitless
  5. vainglorious
  • în van
  • vanitate
  • inutil, infructuos, vanitos
  • în zadar
  • zadarnic

From Proto-Slavic *vъnъ.

  • IPA(key): /ʋân/

vȁn (Cyrillic spelling ва̏н)

  1. except

vȁn (Cyrillic spelling ва̏н) (+ genitive case)

  1. outside, out
    van kućeoutside, outdoors
  2. out of
    van zemljeabroad

vȃn (Cyrillic spelling ва̑н)

  1. out, outside, outdoors
  • IPA(key): /ˈban/ [ˈbãn]
  • Rhymes: -an
  • Syllabification: van

Borrowed from English van.

van m (plural vanes)

  1. van (vehicle)

From Latin vadunt, third-person plural present indicative of vadō (to go).


  1. third-person plural present indicative of ir

From Old Norse vanr, from Proto-Germanic *wanaz, from Proto-Indo-European *wāno-.

  • IPA(key): /vɑːn/
  • Rhymes: -ɑːn

van (comparative vanare, superlative vanast)

  1. accustomed to, used to, having the habit to
  2. experienced, adept
  • ovan
  • med van hand
  • vana
  • vänja
  • ovana
  • anv., nav

Unadapted borrowing from English van, short for caravan.

  • (Standard Tagalog) IPA(key): /ˈvan/ [ˈvan̪]
    • IPA(key): (more native-sounding) /ˈban/ [ˈban̪]
  • Rhymes: -an
  • Syllabification: van

van (Baybayin spelling ᜊᜈ᜔)

  1. van (covered vehicle)
  • “van”, in Pambansang Diksiyonaryo |, Manila, 2018
  • (Hà Nội) IPA(key): [vaːn˧˧]
  • (Huế) IPA(key): [vaːŋ˧˧]
  • (Saigon) IPA(key): [vaːŋ˧˧] ~ [jaːŋ˧˧]

van • (𠹚, 喛)

  1. to beg, to implore

Borrowed from French valve.

(classifier cái) van

  1. valve

Borrowed from French valse.


  1. waltz
  • (waltz): van-xơ

Southern speakers pronounce the loanwords meaning "valve" and "waltz" with the phoneme /n/, not /ŋ/.


  1. Alternative form of fan
  • Kathleen A. Browne (1927) The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland Sixth Series, Vol.17 No.2, Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, page 129


  1. heaven, sky
  • Lukram Himmat Singh (2013) A Descriptive Grammar of Zou, Canchipur: Manipur University, page 46

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