Van n. The front of an army; the first line or leading column; also, the front line or foremost division of a fleet, either in sailing or in battle.
Standards and gonfalons, twixt van and rear,
Stream in the air. --Milton.
Van, n. Mining A shovel used in cleansing ore.
Van, v. t. Mining To wash or cleanse, as a small portion of ore, on a shovel.
1. A light wagon, either covered or open, used by tradesmen and others for the transportation of goods. [Eng.]
2. A large covered wagon for moving furniture, etc., also for conveying wild beasts, etc., for exhibition.
3. A closed railway car for baggage. See the Note under Car, 2. [Eng.]
1. A fan or other contrivance, as a sieve, for winnowing grain.
2. A wing with which the air is beaten. [Archaic] “[/Angels] on their plumy vans received him. ”
He wheeled in air, and stretched his vans in vain;
His vans no longer could his flight sustain. --Dryden.
Van, v. t. To fan, or to cleanse by fanning; to winnow. [Obs.]
n 1: any creative group active in the innovation and application
of new concepts and techniques in a given field
(especially in the arts) [syn: avant-garde, vanguard,
2: the leading units moving at the head of an army [syn: vanguard]
3: a camper equipped with living quarters [syn: caravan]
4: a truck with an enclosed cargo space