1. A contrivance attached to some elevated object for the purpose of showing which way the wind blows; a weathercock. It is usually a plate or strip of metal, or slip of wood, often cut into some fanciful form, and placed upon a perpendicular axis around which it moves freely.
Aye undiscreet, and changing as a vane. --Chaucer.
2. Any flat, extended surface attached to an axis and moved by the wind; as, the vane of a windmill; hence, a similar fixture of any form moved in or by water, air, or other fluid; as, the vane of a screw propeller, a fan blower, an anemometer, etc.
3. Zool. The rhachis and web of a feather taken together.
4. One of the sights of a compass, quadrant, etc.
Vane of a leveling staff. Surv. Same as Target, 3.
n 1: flat surface that rotates and pushes against air or water
2: mechanical device attached to an elevated structure; rotates
freely to show the direction of the wind [syn: weathervane,
weather vane, wind vane]
3: a metal fin attached to the tail of a bomb or missile in
order to stabilize or guide it
4: the flattened weblike part of a feather consisting of a
series of barbs on either side of the shaft [syn: web]