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

Von Hep shared a photo to Instagram of a suspiciously tan foot sprouting out from a very, well, not tanned ankle. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Woman's Foot Self-Tanner Fail Is Going Viral on Instagram," 16 Oct. 2018 The atmosphere is generic international hotel, with the standard-issue minimalist touches: streaky marble bar, mirrored walls, low-slung bar tables with Barcelona-style bench seating in tastefully tan leather. Fox, Town & Country, "A Table for Mr. Fox," 21 Nov. 2012 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The man was last seen wearing a plaid shirt, tan pants and a baseball cap. Campbell Lutz, ajc, "Man claiming to have bomb robs Food Depot, cops say," 28 June 2018 At this point singer Rivers Cuomo has mastered his hipster dad swag, clad in a brown vest, baggy tan pants, a maroon tie and a shaggy beard. Mackenzie Cummings-grady, Billboard, "Weezer Performs Viral Hit 'Africa' On 'Jimmy Kimmel' With Cameo From Toto's Steve Porcaro: Watch," 13 June 2018 The girl was last seen wearing a black midriff shirt with tan capri pants. Chris Harris, PEOPLE.com, "Marshals Arrest Sex Offender Suspected of Abducting 15-Year-Old Girl, But Teen Remains Missing," 29 May 2018 In the video, the suspect is wearing an orange shirt, tan pants, and sunglasses with his face partly covered by a keffiyeh, a scarf sometimes worn by Palestinians and their supporters. Robert Moran, Philly.com, "Philly DA: Video shows a second suspect defacing Israeli flag," 18 May 2018 Two were described as men wearing tan pants, one had on a white polo shirt and the other was not wearing a shirt, police said. Peter Hermann, Washington Post, "Police identify 15-year-old fatally shot after fight at District high school," 17 May 2018 Surveillance video provided to The Times by the Lee County Sheriff's Office shows a woman authorities identified as Riess, wearing a blue shirt and tan pants, entering the parking lot of the condo complex and leaving in Hutchinson's car. Michael Livingston, latimes.com, "Nationwide search is on for a Minnesota woman charged with murder in two states," 18 Apr. 2018 He was last seen wearing a green jacket, tan Carhartt pants and black work boots, according to the Sheriff's Office. Jim Ryan, OregonLive.com, "Authorities ask for help finding escaped Multnomah County inmate," 23 Mar. 2018 Surveillance footage shows a young man in tan cargo pants, wearing a blue jacket with a hood and a hat. CBS News, "NYPD Special Victims hunts for rapist of 12-year-old girl," 19 Feb. 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

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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More from Merriam-Webster on tan

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tan

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tan

Spanish Central: Translation of tan

Nglish: Translation of tan for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tan for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tan

Comments on tan

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