tan·​ning | \ ˈta-niŋ How to pronounce tanning (audio) \

Definition of tanning

1 : a browning of the skin especially by exposure to sun
2 : the art or process by which a skin is tanned
3 : a sound spanking
4 : a natural darkening and hardening of the cuticle of an insect immediately after molting

Examples of tanning in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Finally, don’t set foot near a tanning bed, please. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "9 Small but Impactful Health Habits to Lock Down in Your 20s," 19 Apr. 2019 His father ran a leather tanning business, and McGregor said a young Dr. Smith spent a lot of time cleaning tanks, which fueled an early interest in chemistry and in building bombs, leading at one point to a visit from the FBI. Dennis Overbye, BostonGlobe.com, "Bradford Smith, 86, dies; showed postcards from outer space," 13 July 2018 His father ran a leather tanning business, and Ms. McGregor said young Brad spent a lot of time cleaning tanks, which fueled an early interest in chemistry and in building bombs, leading at one point to a visit from the F.B.I. Dennis Overbye, New York Times, "Bradford Smith, Who Showed Postcards From Outer Space, Dies at 86," 11 July 2018 In an attempt to get to a phone and call 911, prosecutors said, J.B. asked to see his tanning business. Nereida Moreno, chicagotribune.com, "Woman testifies her ex-boss at tanning salon sexually assaulted her in 2009," 23 Apr. 2018 Spray tanning, on the other hand, offers you a safe, sunless glow. Jenn Sinrich, SELF, "11 Things to Avoid Doing Right Before Getting a Spray Tan," 10 Dec. 2018 The solstice celebration is in high gear, complete with a Maypole dance, lawn chairs for tanning, and Fernando Duarte smoking a cigar while tending a Weber grill. Lauren Warnecke, chicagotribune.com, "Joffrey's North American premiere of 'Midsummer' is a 'Joy.' That’s its only problem.," 26 Apr. 2018 In fact, there's an entire Quora thread devoted to Donald Trump's skin tone, where the popular consensus is that years of spray tanning have resulted in his Loompa-esque complexion. Devin Alessio, ELLE Decor, "Which Pantone Color Is Donald Trump?," 8 Sep. 2016 In a backroom are the giant wooden drums that spin the hides dry as a last step in the tanning. Zach Hughes, latimes.com, "Tanning seal hides on the edge of the world: A foothold in the global economy in rural Alaska," 2 May 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Statistics for tanning

Last Updated

7 May 2019

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Time Traveler for tanning

The first known use of tanning was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of tanning

: the act or process of darkening your skin by exposing it to the bright light of the sun or a special type of lamp


tan·​ning | \ ˈtan-iŋ How to pronounce tanning (audio) \

Medical Definition of tanning

: a browning of the skin by exposure to sun

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More from Merriam-Webster on tanning

Nglish: Translation of tanning for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tanning for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tanning

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using a distributed computer network

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