1

tan

verb \ ˈtan \
Updated on: 30 Nov 2017

Definition of tan

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 : thrash, whip
intransitive verb
: to get or become tan

Recent Examples of tan from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of tan

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


2

tan

adjective

Definition of tan

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

Examples of tan in a Sentence

  1. I can't believe how tan she is!

  2. a horse with tan markings

Recent Examples of tan from the Web

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.

First Known Use of tan

1586


3

tan

noun

Definition of tan

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)

Examples of tan in a Sentence

  1. I got a tan on my vacation.

Recent Examples of tan from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of tan

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


4

tan

abbreviation

Definition of tan

tangent


TAN Defined for English Language Learners

tan

verb

Definition of tan for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of tan for English Language Learners

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

  • : having a light brown color


tan

noun

Definition of tan for English Language Learners

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

  • : a light brown color


TAN Defined for Kids

1

tan

verb \ ˈtan \

Definition of tan for Students

tanned; tanning
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.
3 : 1beat 1, thrash

2

tan

adjective

Definition of tan for Students

tanner; tannest
: of a light yellowish brown color

3

tan

noun

Definition of tan for Students

1 : a brown color given to the skin by the sun or wind
2 : a light yellowish brown : the color of sand

Medical Dictionary

1

tan

verb \ ˈtan \

medical Definition of tan

tanned; tanning
transitive verb
: to make (skin) tan especially by exposure to the sun
intransitive verb
: to get or become tanned

2

tan

noun

medical Definition of tan

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


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

of, relating to, or being an oracle

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman-tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!