adj. wan·ner, wan·nest
1. Unnaturally pale, as from physical or emotional distress.
2. Suggestive or indicative of weariness, illness, or unhappiness; melancholy: a wan expression.
intr.v. wanned, wan·ning, wans
To become pale.
[Middle English, pale, gloomy, from Old English wann, gloomy, dark.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.