tan

verb
\ˈtan \
tanned; tanning

Definition of tan 

(Entry 1 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to make (skin) tan especially by exposure to the sun

2a : to convert (hide) into leather by treatment with an infusion of tannin-rich bark or other agent of similar effect

b : to convert (protein) to leather or a similar substance

3 : thrash, whip

intransitive verb

: to get or become tan

tan

adjective
tanner; tannest

Definition of tan (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : of the color tan

2 : of, relating to, or used for tan or tanning

tan

noun

Definition of tan (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : a brown color imparted to the skin especially by exposure to the sun

2 : a light yellowish brown

3 tans plural : tan-colored articles of clothing

4 : a tanning material or its active agent (such as tannin)

Definition of tan (Entry 4 of 4)

tangent

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Examples of tan in a Sentence

Adjective

I can't believe how tan she is! a horse with tan markings

Noun

I got a tan on my vacation.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

My chest is still day-one tanned, but my boobs, underarms, and tummy are as pale as the day I was born. Georgia Murray, refinery29.com, "I'm A Tanning Virgin — Can The King Of Tan Convert Me?," 27 June 2018 For one, people are still tanning—not just in beds, but also the beach and in the park. Lauren Valenti, Marie Claire, "The Rate of Deadly Skin Cancer Has Doubled Over the Last Three Decades," 9 June 2015 He was brought into court in a wheelchair, sporting a white beard, glasses, and tan prison garb. Travis Andersen, BostonGlobe.com, "Convicted sex offender Wayne Chapman ordered held without bail on charges of exposing himself," 9 July 2018 After 25 minutes, the peaches are tanned, caramelized and the skin can be peeled off with a slight tug of the thumb. Chuck Blount, San Antonio Express-News, "The 4 fruits to put in the smoker, and 5 to avoid," 9 July 2018 The top racers are tanned and freckled from time spent running outside, with muscular arms and uneven tan lines. Pia Peterson, New York Times, "Road Race of the Superwomen," 5 July 2018 L'Eau Tan, a subtle self-tanning spritz, joins a handful of innovative new-to-market atomizers, such as James Read's coconut water spray and St. Tropez's bronzing face mist. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "5 Self-Tanning Mists for Your Best Summer Glow Yet," 25 June 2018 His hair was black, but his pale skin, inherited from his Polish father, never tanned. Longreads, "The Cold War and its Fallout," 16 June 2018 The final straw to break the camel’s back will probably be tanning salons. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "Dapper Dan Used to Knock Off Gucci. Now, He’s Collaborating With Them," 14 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

This drama is also why the tannest photo of 2018, Selena and Kylie at this year’s Met Gala, was so major, as the two ladies hadn’t been seen together in years. Mariah Smith, The Cut, "Like Everything, Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin’s Relationship Is Connected to the Kardashians," 11 July 2018 In movies, the music industry’s shady opportunists are often cast as overly tan white men with heavy gold chains, who wear their dyed hair teased high. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Forced to Perform As Aretha Franklin," 2 July 2018 Police say a black man between 20 and 30 years old driving a newer model, tan four-door sedan was involved in an accident in the parking lot at 1132 Sycamore St., Pendleton, around 12:55 a.m. Sunday. Avery Jennings, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati Police: Man struck woman in face after minor parking lot accident," 10 June 2018 Both wore tinted sunglasses while Dunst, 36, held a hand to her baby bump that was showcased under a knee-length Snyder cashmere dress by Equipment (available here in black) and tan trench coat. Jen Juneau, PEOPLE.com, "Bumping Along! Pregnant Kirsten Dunst Shows Off Her Baby Belly During Outing with Jesse Plemons," 3 May 2018 Owners Dan and Hannah Carruthers have designed a sleek, European-looking space that’s awash with white and tan hues, giving it a subtle feel without all those neon-bright colors found at American eateries these days. James Patrick Kelly, idahostatesman, "Special sandwiches: Tasso exhibits global flair with deli fare | Idaho Statesman," 26 Apr. 2018 Authorities said Moore was driving a white and tan Ford F-150 King Ranch pickup registered to his wife. Barbara Boyer, Philly.com, "South Jersey man charged with murder in 'road rage' incident," 25 Apr. 2018 Mack, 35, appeared in tan jail smocks for a brief court appearance. Washington Post, "‘Smallville’ actress granted bail in alleged sex cult case," 24 Apr. 2018 Gonzalez said Apollo, a brown and tan German Shepard, is four years old and weighs in at about 75 pounds. Linda Gandee/special To Cleveland.com, cleveland.com, "K-9 proves a hit with the Rocky River Citizen Police Academy class; juvenile crimes are involving more social media," 26 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Her most recent Instagram features a miniscule red bikini, waves that plead for a Pantene Pro-V sponsorship, an even tan, and the ultimate tell—an open (color-coordinated) sleeve of Haribo gummies. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "Cazzie David Should Be the Next Bachelorette: A Proposal," 10 July 2018 The top racers are tanned and freckled from time spent running outside, with muscular arms and uneven tan lines. Pia Peterson, New York Times, "Road Race of the Superwomen," 5 July 2018 Alongside the path runs a tall metal fence that separates us from some tan, patchy grass — the sort that works as visual shorthand for the ravages of winter. Leslie Kendall Dye, Longreads, "City on a Hill," 23 June 2018 Some are nearly black, but their colors can include tans, greens and grays. Jason Nark, Philly.com, "Venomous passion: Pennsylvania's snake hunters head to the hills," 20 June 2018 The Glow Face Palette ($45) consists of four shimmery and silky highlighters in rosy pink, bronze, golden tan, and white champagne. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Dior Launched A Less-Expensive Beauty Line Called Backstage—We Have All the Details," 29 May 2018 Boneta adapts several key Luis Miguel traits: the stoic stage mannerisms, the golden tan, the frozen, toothy smile (complete with signature gap). Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle, "Luis Miguel stars onstage in Houston and on the small screen," 23 May 2018 This body, displayed for viewers in an earlier scene, tan and glittering, is an impossible body. Sascha Cohen, SELF, "I Felt Like I Deserved My Breast Cancer," 17 May 2018 The new liquid foundations come in 40 shades that are evenly spread across the light, medium, tan, and deep categories. Shannon Barbour, The Cut, "CoverGirl Launched a New Foundation Line With 40 Shades," 17 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tan.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of tan

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2a

Adjective

1586, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun

1674, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for tan

Verb

Middle English tannen, from Anglo-French tanner, from Medieval Latin tannare, from tanum, tannum tanbark

Noun

French, tanbark, from Old French, from Medieval Latin tanum

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Dictionary Entries near tan

Tamus

Tamuz

Tamworth

tan

Tana

tanacetin

Tanacetum

Statistics for tan

Last Updated

3 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tan

The first known use of tan was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for tan

tan

verb

English Language Learners Definition of tan

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to cause (skin) to become darker especially from being exposed to the sun's rays

: to become darker especially from being exposed to the sun's rays

: to change (the skin of an animal) into leather by a chemical process

tan

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of tan (Entry 2 of 3)

: having skin that has been made darker by being exposed to the sun's rays

: having a light brown color

tan

noun

English Language Learners Definition of tan (Entry 3 of 3)

: a browning of the skin that is caused by the sun's rays

: a light brown color

tan

verb
\ˈtan \
tanned; tanning

Kids Definition of tan

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : to change animal hide into leather especially by soaking in a tannin solution

2 : to make or become brown in color She doesn't tan. Instead, she gets a sunburn.

tan

adjective
tanner; tannest

Kids Definition of tan (Entry 2 of 3)

: of a light yellowish brown color

tan

noun

Kids Definition of tan (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : a brown color given to the skin by the sun or wind

2 : a light yellowish brown : the color of sand

tan

verb
\ˈtan \
tanned; tanning

Medical Definition of tan 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to make (skin) tan especially by exposure to the sun

intransitive verb

: to get or become tanned

tan

noun

Medical Definition of tan (Entry 2 of 2)

: a brown color imparted to the skin by exposure to the sun or wind

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Comments on tan

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