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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Vane \Vane\ (v[=a]n), n. [OE. & Prov. E. fane weathercock, banner, AS. fana a banner, flag; akin to D. vaan, G. fahne, OHG. fano cloth, gund fano flag, Icel. f[=a]ni, Sw. fana, Dan. fane, Goth. fana cloth, L. pannus, and perhaps to Gr. ph^nos a web, phni`on a bobbin, spool. Cf. Fanon, Pane a compartment, panel.] [1913 Webster] [1913 Webster] 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. [1913 Webster] Aye undiscreet, and changing as a vane. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster] 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. [1913 Webster] 3. (Zool.) The rhachis and web of a feather taken together. [1913 Webster] 4. One of the sights of a compass, quadrant, etc. [1913 Webster] Vane of a leveling staff. (Surv.) Same as Target, 3. [1913 Webster]