tar·​tan | \ ˈtär-tᵊn How to pronounce tartan (audio) \

Definition of tartan

1 : a plaid textile design of Scottish origin consisting of stripes of varying width and color usually patterned to designate a distinctive clan
2a : a twilled woolen fabric with tartan design
b : a fabric with tartan design
3 : a garment of tartan design

Examples of tartan in a Sentence

a kilt in the clan's tartan
Recent Examples on the Web My spacious room was outfitted in leather and tartan, and had an enormous four-poster bed. Travel + Leisure, 16 June 2022 Decked out in coordinating red and black tartan outfits, the girls showcased their signature precision choreography. Kat Bouza, Rolling Stone, 19 May 2022 In 2006, Browne registered a proprietary tartan in the official Scottish register. Steff Yotka, Vogue, 15 Feb. 2022 Naturally, Jamie claims the tartan and is sentenced to ten lashes. Lincee Ray, EW.com, 7 Mar. 2022 Cozy knits, chic velvets, and perhaps a good tartan coat are classic additions to the roster. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 30 Nov. 2021 In the shot, Cloud and Apatow, 24, are dressed in coordinating tartan looks from Thom Browne. Robyn Merrett, PEOPLE.com, 16 Feb. 2022 In the shot, Cloud and Apatow, 24, were dressed in stylish coordinating tartan looks from Thom Browne. Dan Heching, PEOPLE.com, 23 Feb. 2022 In a video shared by the royal family on Instagram, Princess Madeleine (sporting a festive red tartan skirt) takes the lead while holding hands with 3-year-old daughter Princess Adrienne. Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, 20 Dec. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tartan.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of tartan

circa 1500, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tartan

perhaps from Middle French tiretaine linsey-woolsey

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Time Traveler for tartan

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The first known use of tartan was circa 1500

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Last Updated

8 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tartan.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tartan. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for tartan


tar·​tan | \ ˈtär-tᵊn How to pronounce tartan (audio) \

Kids Definition of tartan

: a woolen cloth with a plaid design originally made in Scotland

More from Merriam-Webster on tartan

Nglish: Translation of tartan for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tartan


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