verb (used without object), waned, wan·ing.

  1. to decrease in strength, intensity, etc.: Daylight waned, and night came on. Her enthusiasm for the cause is waning.
  2. to decline in power, importance, prosperity, etc.: Colonialism began to wane after World War II.
  3. to draw to a close; approach an end: Summer is waning.
  4. (of the moon) to decrease periodically in the extent of its illuminated portion after the full moon.Compare wax2(def 2).


  1. a gradual decrease or decline in strength, intensity, power, etc.
  2. the drawing to a close of life, an era, a period, etc.
  3. the waning of the moon.
  4. a period of waning.
  5. a defect in a plank or board characterized by bark or insufficient wood at a corner or along an edge, due to the curvature of the log.


  1. on the wane, decreasing; diminishing: The popularity of that song is on the wane.

verb (intr)

  1. (of the moon) to show a gradually decreasing portion of illuminated surface, between full moon and new moonCompare wax 2 (def. 2)
  2. to decrease gradually in size, strength, power, etc
  3. to draw to a close


  1. a decrease, as in size, strength, power, etc
  2. the period during which the moon wanes
  3. the act or an instance of drawing to a close
  4. a rounded surface or defective edge of a plank, where the bark was
  5. on the wane in a state of decline

v.Old English wanian “make or become smaller gradually,” from Proto-Germanic *wanojanan (cf. Old Saxon wanon, Old Norse vana, Old Frisian wania, Middle Dutch waenen, Old High German wanon “to wane, to grow less”), from *wano- “lacking,” from PIE *we-no-, from root *eue- “to leave, abandon, give out” (see vain). Related: Waned; waning; wanes. see wax and wane.

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