tan·​ning | \ˈta-niŋ \

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

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 Weinstock also emphasizes the importance of avoiding indoor tanning beds, which can damage skin cells and raise the risk of skin cancer, too. Fox News, "Here's how damaging a bad sunburn can be," 7 July 2018 There are self-tanning lotions that can make your legs pretty (follow the label directions), and with breezy, light summer dresses, pantyhose can be thick and clunky. Heloise, Houston Chronicle, "Here’s to the U.S. flag!," 13 June 2018 Some people really might need help for behavioral overuse of gaming, smartphones, pornography, tanning—anything else, even cat ownership. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "Why Is There a ‘Gaming Disorder’ But No ‘Smartphone Disorder?’," 28 June 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

3 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

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 \

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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