tan

1 of 4

verb

tanned; tanning

transitive verb

1
: to make (skin) tan especially by exposure to the sun
2
a
: 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

intransitive verb

: to get or become tan

tan

2 of 4

adjective

tanner; tannest
1
: of the color tan
2
: of, relating to, or used for tan or tanning

tan

3 of 4

noun

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)

tan

4 of 4

abbreviation

tangent

Examples of tan in a Sentence

Verb Grandpa told us that when he was a kid, if he misbehaved at all, his father would tan his backside with a belt a time when children were routinely tanned for misbehavior Adjective I can't believe how tan she is! a horse with tan markings Noun I got a tan on my vacation.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
The 21-year-old victim was tanning alone in the Great Hill section of the park near W. 104th St. and West Drive when a man walked toward her just after 1:25 p.m., cops said. Elizabeth Keogh, New York Daily News, 24 June 2024 Use of commercial tanning lamps and beds also can cause age spots. Tribune News Service, The Mercury News, 21 June 2024
Adjective
The Spice Girls alum wore a tan shirt and shorts combo set with a green bralette to show off her midriff, while the unidentified man wore an all-black fit with pink sneakers. Njera Perkins, Peoplemag, 1 July 2024 Tom Rourke picked his way along the street avoiding the muddier stretches in favor of his tan Colchester boots. John Ganz, Harper's Magazine, 22 May 2024
Noun
Shorter-wavelength ultraviolet B rays affect the outermost layers of skin, causing sunburns and tans. Tribune News Service, The Mercury News, 5 July 2024 Enriched with hydrating ingredients such as coconut oil and shea butter, this product deeply moisturizes your skin while prolonging your tan. Hyphensocial Contributors, Rolling Stone, 2 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for tan 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tan.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near tan

Cite this Entry

“Tan.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tan. Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

tan

1 of 3 verb
tanned; tanning
1
: to change hide into leather especially by soaking in a tannin solution
2
: to make or become tan or brown especially by exposing to the sun
3

tan

2 of 3 adjective
tanner; tannest
: of the color tan

tan

3 of 3 noun
1
: a brown color given to the skin especially by exposure to the sun
2
: a light yellowish brown
tannish
ˈtan-ish
adjective

Medical Definition

tan

1 of 2 verb
tanned; tanning

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to get or become tanned

tan

2 of 2 noun
: a brown color imparted to the skin by exposure to the sun or wind

More from Merriam-Webster on tan

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