Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

tartan

play
noun tar·tan \ˈtär-tən\

Simple Definition of tartan

  • : a traditional Scottish cloth pattern of stripes in different colors and widths that cross each other to form squares

  • : fabric with a tartan pattern

Full Definition of tartan

  1. 1 :  a plaid textile design of Scottish origin consisting of stripes of varying width and color usually patterned to designate a distinctive clan

  2. 2a :  a twilled woolen fabric with tartan designb :  a fabric with tartan design

  3. 3 :  a garment of tartan design

Examples of tartan

  1. a kilt in the clan's tartan



Origin of tartan

perhaps from Middle French tiretaine linsey-woolsey


First Known Use: circa 1500

Rhymes with tartan


TARTAN Defined for Kids

tartan

play
noun tar·tan \ˈtär-tən\

Definition of tartan

  1. :  a woolen cloth with a plaid design originally made in Scotland




Learn More about tartan


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up tartan? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 13, 2016

a trying or distressing experience

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

16.96 pounds 2.2 pounds 196.5 pounds 100 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ