Word of the Day: wane

Word of the Day: wane

Waning moon phases
Source: kissesandchaos.com

Wane (verb) WAYN


1 : to decrease in size, extent, or degree

2 : to fall gradually from power, prosperity, or influence


abate; atrophy; decrease; die down; die out; dim; dwindle; ebb; fade; peter out; shrink; slacken; subside; taper off; weaken; wither


brighten; develop; enhance; enlarge; expand; extend; grow; increase; rise; strengthen


“Last year, the station offered fans the chance to buy the CD online for the first time and also sold it in Target stores as usual. But unlike previous years, the limited-run compilation didn’t sell out immediately, suggesting its popularity may be waning.” — Ross Raihala, The Pioneer Press (TwinCities.com), 14 Oct. 2016

“And as public and political interest in space exploration waxed and waned over the following decades, the funding for the space program did too.” — Dianna Wray, The Houston Press, 26 Oct. 2016

Did You Know?

“Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour / Draws on apace four happy days bring in / Another moon: But oh, methinks how slow / This old moon wanes!” So Theseus describes his eagerness for his wedding night in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As illustrated by Theseus’ words, wane is a word often called upon to describe the seeming decrease in size of the moon in the later phases of the lunar cycle. The traditional opposite of wane is wax, a once common but now infrequently used synonym of grow. Wane and wax have been partnered in reference to the moon since the Middle Ages.

My Take

I learned about the word ‘Wane’ when I was maybe 8 or 9 years old. I had joined the scouts, and I studied the phases of the moon. By then, I was already captivated by astronomical events, so this was an excellent introduction to something that fascinated me.

Waning Phases of the Moon
Source: jasondemakis.com

I came to understand that the act of becoming a full moon was called waxing while the period after the full moon was called waning. I will admit since I didn’t make astronomy my career choice, as an adult, I often confused the two terms. I hope with today’s word; I can finally keep them straight. Waxing is for growing, and Waning is for receding. Cool! Now that I got that straight, I can rest easy. I hope. 😉

Lumber Wane
Source: baltimorebrickbybrick.com

I also learned a different usage for the word. M-W calls it a verb but I found a noun form of the word. If you have worked with lumber, especially framing lumber, I guarantee you have seen this. Check out the picture because it would take a thousand words for me to describe what is easily seen in the image. I always wondered if there was a name for that. Now I know. The inverse of ‘wane’ in lumber is called ‘want’. I learned something new! Whoo hoo!

Penthouse June 1994 cover Taylor Wane
Source unknown

I also thought of other uses, such as the stock market when it’s on a downswing or waning market. How many things do you know that wane? An entertainer’s career could be waning in popularity. A political party could be waning in influence. It doesn’t matter who, I don’t spill names. There are so many ways to use it.

Wane Veluz
Source: masrapidoblog.wordpress.com

I found at least three people who use the word as part of their name. Taylor Wane is an adult model with huge fake boobs. Ugh! I hate basketball boobs. I also found an actress by the name of Niki Wane who appeared in the 1973 film ‘Bamboo House of Dolls’. I presume it’s an adult film, but I didn’t look into it. Then there is Wane Veluz who is a product advertising model.

In my opinion, wane is a versatile word, and I’m going to look for a way to use it more often. What do you think?

If you share this post from my site on Twitter, you will receive a screen grab of a naked Niki Wane from the movie.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

Merriam-WebsterBrought to you by Merriam-Webster, Word of the Day.

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