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

Cheerleaders practice roughly 20 hours of week, with the expectations of tanning, and maintaining a certain hair length. Mac Engel, star-telegram, "No one gets the short end in college athletics more than a cheerleader," 8 June 2018 The decision by Judge O’Connor, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, invalidates other aspects of the law, among them a tax on tanning salons, state Medicaid expansions and performance measures that now determine hospital pay. Stephanie Armour, WSJ, "Ruling Against Health Law Puts Political Divide in Stark Relief," 15 Dec. 2018 Still, about 30 million people go tanning every year, about 70 percent of whom are young women. Redbook, "5 Scary Facts About Tanning Beds," 11 July 2010 Ashley Bell met Shanann Watts about two years ago, when the mother of two came into Bell's new tanning salon in nearby Dacono. Bradford Betz, Fox News, "Colorado girls' bodies were submerged in crude oil 4 days," 18 Aug. 2018 Natalie Kelly, who manages the tanning salon in Woodstock that Prindle’s mother owns, started a GoFundMe campaign to cover the 18-year-old’s medical expenses. Ben Brasch, ajc, "Warrant, friend shed light on DUI case of Cobb teen who fell from SUV," 9 July 2018 Make it into leather Next, hides are taken through the tanning process, which helps to make the skins more water resistant and durable. Lara Sorokanich, Popular Mechanics, "How To Make Leather," 2 Aug. 2016 Regular tanning can cause premature aging (wrinkles and dark spots!), as well as melanoma down the road. Natalie Gontcharova, Good Housekeeping, "11 Mistakes You Make With Sunscreen," 24 Apr. 2014 The shop also features a 24-hour tanning booth, available with a membership. Brittany Britto, baltimoresun.com, "Weekend adventure: A visitor's guide to history-rich Cambridge," 2 July 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.

See More

First Known Use of tanning

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tanning

Statistics for tanning

Last Updated

29 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tanning

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tanning



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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on tanning

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


a flaw that causes the downfall of a hero

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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