Part of speech:
(Like “sleep,” “skydive,” and “succeed,” all intransitive verbs show complete action on their own and do not do action to an object. You sleep, you skydive, you succeed, and that’s it. You don’t “sleep a bed,” “skydive a plane,” or “succeed a plan”.
Likewise, something wanes.)
When something wanes, it becomes less strong, less intense, or less powerful.
Other common forms:
How to use it:
Talk about support waning, interest waning, enthusiasm waning, service or hospitality waning, generosity waning, patience waning, and so on.
You can also talk about waning hours, waning moments, the waning evening, a waning summer, etc.: it means that the period of time is coming to an end.
The opposite of "wane" is "wax," and they're often used together: the waxing and waning of the moon, the waxing and waning of interest in political elections, and so on.
Say that something is "on the wane," if you like: "His willingness to endure his boring job is on the wane."
If you've been a "Make Your Point" reader for a while, you might recall our featured word "ebb", a close synonym of "wane." They're interchangeable, but you can draw a fine distinction if you want to: Use "ebb" to emphasize something slowly flowing away, like the tidewater as it recedes, and use "wane" to emphasize that something once bright is starting to fade, like the moon as it shrinks from a full orb to a little sliver.
A popular topic in educational literature is dealing with waning student attention.
Baby Taylor's desire to grab fistfuls of our kitties' fur hasn't waned a bit over the past few months, unfortunately.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "wane” means when you can explain it without saying “shrink” or “get less intense."
Think of something that used to be really popular, and fill in the blanks: "_____'s popularity has waned (Or: The popularity of _____ has waned), probably because _____."
Example : "The popularity of scrunchies has waned, probably because of their association with the poufy hair of the 1990s. "
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don't go straight to the review now; let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month's game content is protected by a copyright, so I can't reprint the trivia questions here--but check out the challenging, endlessly entertaining game; it's called Moot!
A Point Well Made:
Oliver Wendell Holmes: “One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”
1. The direct opposite of WANE is WAX. Another opposite of WANE is
2. Management is _____ waning attendance at the staff meetings.
A. troubled by
B. unaware of
C. happy with
Answers are below.
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Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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