tan

verb
\ ˈtan How to pronounce tan (audio) \
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

Not all of us have time to just tan our vaginas, Shailene! Sophia Benoit, GQ, "How to Keep Your Relationship Alive with One Text a Day," 16 May 2018 Don’t tan outdoors or in a tanning booth Whether intentional or a mere result of spending too much time outside in the sun (sans sunscreen), having a real tan can cause your spray tan to look unnatural. Jenn Sinrich, SELF, "11 Things to Avoid Doing Right Before Getting a Spray Tan," 10 Dec. 2018 Made in an Italian factory that used to work exclusively with luxury companies, the leather is vegetable-tanned to improve its look after a few wears. Stephanie Wu, Town & Country, "The Italian Leather Sandal You'll Wear All Summer," 22 May 2014 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

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

Towards the end of her life Kramer was romantically linked to the actor George Hamilton, one of the few figures in American popular culture whose tan rivaled her own. Ben Widdicombe, Town & Country, "Terry Allen Kramer, Palm Beach Grande Dame, Dies," 2 May 2019 Thin, toned, tan—based on the ads that brands run in the lead-up to festival season, those seem to be the three qualifications to attend. Gianluca Russo, Glamour, "Fat People Like Music and Crop-Tops, Too. When Will Festival Fashion Catch Up?," 26 Apr. 2019 The tags then went up on a giant map of Arizona: tan for those who could be identified and orange for those who could not. Jeff Karoub, The Seattle Times, "Project exploring migrant deaths in US aims to go global," 29 Mar. 2019 Infiniti went with a tan, brown, and beige color palette for the interior, with some contrast stitching and maple trim accents in the dashboard. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "Variable-compression engine meets crossover: Infiniti QX50 review," 8 Nov. 2018 Jolie often gravitates toward a simple color spectrum with shades of black, white, gray, and tan. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Angelina Jolie Makes Her Sunday Maxi Dress Look Red Carpet–Worthy," 10 Sep. 2018 The thief put the bricks in the trunk of a tan Toyota Camry and drove away west on Butterfield Road. Graydon Megan, chicagotribune.com, "Elmhurst police blotter: Unlocked vehicles entered, items taken," 11 May 2018 And there’s always the throwaways: twelve of the thirteen Laurens, any woman of color not highlighted on night one, the woman who owns a spray tan company. Justin Kirkland, USA TODAY, "'Bachelor' premiere recap: Chelsea wastes no time becoming the season's villain," 1 Jan. 2018 From left: Sunnei’s super-slouchy sweater; a boldly striped take at Marni; Acne Studios’s tan version. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "A Guide to the Most Wearable—and Unwearable—Men’s Trends for 2019," 24 Jan. 2019

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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Learn More about tan

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 How to pronounce tan (audio) \
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 How to pronounce tan (audio) \
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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