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van2 a vehicle similar to a car but with a higher ceiling and with greater capacity behind the front seats for goods, equipment, or people. A van usually has a sliding door on one side and may or may not have windows in the rear.
vanadium a chemical element that has twenty-three protons in each nucleus and that occurs in a variety of compounds, or in pure form as a bright white, lustrous, ductile solid metal used in some alloys. (symbol: V)
vanadium steel a steel alloy that contains vanadium to harden and strengthen it.
Van Allen belt either of two belts that encircle the earth within its magnetic field, in which electrically charged particles, captured from the solar wind, are trapped. [2 definitions]
vancomycin an antibiotic used to treat various bacterial infections.
vandal a person who purposely destroys, defaces, or damages property. [3 definitions]
vandalism willful and malicious destruction or defacement of property, or an act thereof.
vandalize to purposely deface, destroy, or damage (property).
Vandyke beard a short beard trimmed to a point.
Vandyke collar a broad lace or linen collar with a scalloped or deeply indented edge.
vane a device mounted so that it rotates freely in the wind, indicating the wind's direction; weather vane. [4 definitions]
vanguard the leading or foremost position or part of a movement or force; forefront. [2 definitions]
vanilla any of several tropical orchids whose fruit contains a fragrant flavoring agent. [4 definitions]
vanilla bean the long, narrow seedpod of the orchid plant vanilla, used in making the food flavoring called vanilla.
vanillin a fragrant white crystalline compound obtained from the vanilla bean or prepared synthetically, used as a flavoring and in perfumes.
vanish to disappear quickly from sight. [4 definitions]
vanishing point in perspective, the point at which receding parallel lines appear to converge. [2 definitions]
vanity an excessive admiration of oneself, esp. one's appearance; conceit; vainness. [6 definitions]
vanity case a small traveling case, used by women, that is designed to carry cosmetics and toiletries.
vanity plate a car license plate with letters and numbers chosen by the owner rather than assigned by the state.
vanity press a publisher that publishes books for which the author pays the costs; vanity publisher.