(on the wane, to wane, and waning)


  • a period of decline or reduction
  • to describe a measurement of time
  • to approach an end
  • a defective edge of a board
  • a reduction in power or influence
  • a loss of illumination

Example Sentences

  1. With his health on the wane, the coal worker had to take better care of himself.
  2. As the hour began to wane, the students hurried through their tests.
  3. The night was waning, and the dawn was quickly approaching.
  4. His influence over his employees was on the wane.
  5. The moon’s diminished glow proved that it was on the wane.
  6. The board could not be used for the deck due to the wane on the left edge.
  7. The battle raged until mid-morning when it was finally seen to be on the wane.
  8. The person’s bid for political influence was on the wane and could not be easily recovered.


As a noun and a verb, the word ‘wane’ is derived from old English, but it is said to trace back to a Germanic root, possibly even old Norse. The recognized version of it stems from ‘wana’ which is translated into defect or shortage. The word has been used as a noun and a verb in old English in several languages, including Dutch.

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