vane

Vane is usually short for “weathervane.” If the vane on top of the building is spinning, it must be windy outside.

In addition to being a device that shows you the direction of the wind, a vane can help direct flying things through the wind, as bird lovers and archers, among others, know. Be careful not to mistake vane for its homonyms, vein and vain. If you're so vain that you'll slash at your veins if the wind messes up your hair, check the vane before going out. Or just wear a hat.

Definitions of vane
  1. noun
    the flattened weblike part of a feather consisting of a series of barbs on either side of the shaft
    synonyms: web
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    type of:
    blade
    a broad flat body part (as of the shoulder or tongue)
  2. noun
    mechanical device attached to an elevated structure; rotates freely to show the direction of the wind
    synonyms: weather vane, weathervane, wind vane
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    types:
    weathercock
    weathervane with a vane in the form of a rooster
    wind tee
    weather vane shaped like a T and located at an airfield
    type of:
    mechanical device
    mechanism consisting of a device that works on mechanical principles
  3. noun
    flat surface that rotates and pushes against air or water
    synonyms: blade
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    types:
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    fan blade
    blade of a rotating fan
    impeller
    the blade of a rotor (as in the compressor of a jet engine)
    paddle
    a blade of a paddle wheel or water wheel
    rudder blade
    the vertical blade on a rudder
    type of:
    rotating mechanism
    a mechanism that rotates
  4. noun
    a fin attached to the tail of an arrow, bomb or missile in order to stabilize or guide it
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    type of:
    fin
    a stabilizer on a ship that resembles the fin of a fish
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