tan·​nin | \ ˈta-nən How to pronounce tannin (audio) \

Definition of tannin

1 : any of various soluble astringent complex phenolic substances of plant origin used especially in tanning leather and dyeing textiles, manufacturing ink, clarifying wine and beer, and in medicine
2 : a substance that has a tanning effect

Examples of tannin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

This robust brandy made in Louisville, Ky., hints at honey and baking spice, with lots of toasty oak tannins providing a dry, puckery finish. Kara Newman, WSJ, "Your New Favorite Brown Liquor," 4 Oct. 2018 This cab is loaded with dark fruit, backed by persistent tannins. Andy Perdue, The Seattle Times, "DeLille Cellars’ 2015 Harrison Hill is Andy Perdue’s Wine of the Year," 26 Oct. 2018 Food stains belong to one of three categories: protein, tannin, and grease. Talia Abbas, SELF, "9 Expert Tips for Removing Food Stains From Your Clothes," 28 Sep. 2018 The slight tannin that comes from contact with the skins lends some structure, whereas the high acidity cuts through the richness of those fuller dishes. Kristin Tice Studeman, Vogue, "The Best Wine for Every Thanksgiving Scenario," 19 Nov. 2018 Awarded 96 points by JamesSuckling.com, the dense, lush red from a high-altitude vineyard in Mendoza, Argentina, is marked by soft tannins and a bright acidity. Lettie Teague, WSJ, "What Savvy Wine Buyers Should Know About the Points System," 3 May 2018 Despite the wine’s age, tannins still spoke sharply, but not so harshly that they would be noticed if a succulent roast also was on the table. Mike Dunne, sacbee, "Nebbiolo, the wine equivalent of winter’s woodpile," 16 Jan. 2018 For example, a wine that’s corked is often said to smell like a damp basement or wet dog, while a wine that’s too old is generally described as dusty and dried out, all tannin, no fruit. Lettie Teague, WSJ, "The Perverse Pleasure of a Truly Bad Bottle of Wine," 27 Sep. 2018 The grape skins provide pleasantly subtle tannins, while the Riesling imbues each sip with a summery apricot flavor. Claudia Mcneilly, Vogue, "Wine-Beer Is the Perfect Hybrid Drink to Sip From Summer to Fall," 3 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tannin.' 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 tannin

1802, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tannin

French, from tanner to tan

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Last Updated

11 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for tannin

The first known use of tannin was in 1802

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More Definitions for tannin



English Language Learners Definition of tannin

: a reddish acid that comes from plants, is used in making ink and leather, and occurs in various foods and drinks (such as wine)


tan·​nin | \ ˈta-nən How to pronounce tannin (audio) \

Kids Definition of tannin

: a substance often made from oak bark or sumac and used in tanning animal hides, dyeing fabric and yarn, and making ink


tan·​nin | \ ˈtan-ən How to pronounce tannin (audio) \

Medical Definition of tannin

1 : any of various soluble astringent complex phenolic substances of plant origin used in tanning, dyeing, the making of ink, and in medicine as astringents and formerly in the treatment of burns
2 : a substance that has a tanning effect

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More from Merriam-Webster on tannin

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tannin

Spanish Central: Translation of tannin

Nglish: Translation of tannin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tannin for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tannin

Comments on tannin

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of or relating to a parable or parabola

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