Pronunciation: (vān), [key]
1. one of the system of branching vessels or tubes conveying blood from various parts of the body to the heart.
2. (loosely) any blood vessel.
3. one of the riblike thickenings that form the framework of the wing of an insect.
4. one of the strands or bundles of vascular tissue forming the principal framework of a leaf.
5. any body or stratum of ore, coal, etc., clearly separated or defined: a rich vein of coal.
6. a body or mass of igneous rock, deposited mineral, or the like occupying a crevice or fissure in rock; lode.
7. a natural channel or watercourse beneath the surface of the earth.
8. the water running through such a channel.
9. a streak or marking, as of a different shade or color, running through marble, wood, etc.
10. a condition, mood, or temper: a vein of pessimism.
11. a tendency, quality, or strain traceable in character, conduct, writing, etc.; manner or style: to write in a poetic vein.
1. to furnish with veins.
2. to mark with lines or streaks suggesting veins.
3. to extend over or through in the manner of veins: Broad new highways vein the countryside.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.