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n. An instrument used for producing artificial currents of air, by the wafting or revolving motion of a broad surface; as: (a) An instrument for cooling the person, made of feathers, paper, silk, etc., and often mounted on sticks all turning about the same pivot, so as when opened to radiate from the center and assume the figure of a section of a circle. (b) (Mach.) Any revolving vane or vanes used for producing currents of air, in winnowing grain, blowing a fire, ventilation, etc., or for checking rapid motion by the resistance of the air; a fan blower; a fan wheel. (c) An instrument for winnowing grain, by moving which the grain is tossed and agitated, and the chaff is separated and blown away. (d) Something in the form of a fan when spread, as a peacock's tail, a window, etc. (e) A small vane or sail, used to keep the large sails of a smock windmill always in the direction of the wind. That which produces effects analogous to those of a fan, as in exciting a flame, etc.; that which inflames, heightens, or strengthens; as, it served as a fan to the flame of his ...

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