A van is a roomy vehicle with a boxy shape that's useful for transporting extra people or extra stuff. If you're moving some furniture across town, your mom's van will come in handy.

There are many kinds of vans, from commercial vans that deliver appliances to airport vans that transport hotel guests and their luggage to the small vans parked in many suburban driveways. A less common meaning of van is "forefront," and this meaning is usually used when talking about military movement: "The general was at the van of the troops as they surged forward." The vehicle definition comes from caravan, "large covered carriage used for conveying passengers."

Definitions of van
  1. noun
    (Great Britain) a closed railroad car that carries baggage or freight
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    type of:
    car, railcar, railroad car, railway car
    a wheeled vehicle adapted to the rails of railroad
  2. noun
    a truck with an enclosed cargo space
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    a van with shelves of books; serves as a mobile library or bookstore
    delivery truck, delivery van, panel truck
    a van suitable for delivering goods or services to customers
    laundry truck
    van that picks up and delivers laundry
    milk float
    a van (typically powered by electricity) with an open side that is used to deliver milk to houses
    moving van
    a van used for moving home or office furniture
    passenger van
    a van that carries passengers
    black Maria, paddy wagon, patrol wagon, police van, police wagon, wagon
    van used by police to transport prisoners
    a small box-shaped passenger van; usually has removable seats; used as a family car
    a large moving van (especially one used for moving furniture)
    type of:
    motortruck, truck
    an automotive vehicle suitable for hauling
  3. noun
    a camper equipped with living quarters
    synonyms: caravan
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    type of:
    camper, camping bus, motor home
    a recreational vehicle equipped for camping out while traveling
  4. noun
    the leading units moving at the head of an army
    synonyms: vanguard
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    type of:
    army unit
    a military unit that is part of an army
  5. noun
    any creative group active in the innovation and application of new concepts and techniques in a given field (especially in the arts)
    synonyms: avant-garde, new wave, vanguard
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    type of:
    art movement, artistic movement
    a group of artists who agree on general principles
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