means thin. (Anglo-Saxon, wan,
“deficient”; our wane, as the
“waning moon.”) As wasting of the flesh is generally
accompanied with a grey pallor, the idea of leanness has yielded to
that of the sickly hue which attends it. (Verb
wan-ian, to wane.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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