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 Even Adidas has indulged in some experimental tracksuits, offering a boxy tartan set ($620) made in collaboration with British brand Wales Bonner. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "Tracksuits—Like Those Worn by Run-DMC—Are Back in Style," 27 Apr. 2021 Each gift box contains a voucher for a bespoke tweed or tartan and everything needed to begin the custom design process, including fabric swatches—available online for $2,083. Jordi Lippe-mcgraw, Forbes, "Mother's Day Gift Guide: The Most Sentimental Travel Gifts For Mom," 27 Apr. 2021 Malik dressed for the occasion in a yellow tartan-print puffer jacket layered over a black hoodie and matching joggers with sneakers. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, "Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik Step Out with Baby Khai for a Family Aquarium Visit," 14 Apr. 2021 Every year around this time, Middleton returns to her beloved tartan print and gives it a polished finish. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Kate Middleton Gets Festive by Piling On the Tartan," 8 Dec. 2020 Meanwhile, Gaga, who stars as Gucci's ex-wife, Patrizia Reggiani, wears a tartan trench coat cinched at the waist with a matching wide belt. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Lady Gaga and Adam Driver Get Preppy in New Photos from the House of Gucci Set," 10 Mar. 2021 While breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch are all on offer in an unprecedented move, The Polo Bar's Clubroom has opened up the space to intimate film screenings made lush in their dark mahogany and tartan splendor. Alissa Fitzgerald, Forbes, "Exclusive Recipe & Private Dining As The Clubroom At Polo Bar By Ralph Lauren Returns," 9 Mar. 2021 One resident showed up for his visit, with three grandchildren, wearing a formal suit and tartan tie. Washington Post, "After months of isolation, a ‘hug room’ lets Italian nursing home residents touch family for the first time," 19 Dec. 2020 Think blue and red tartan jackets worn over gauzy tiered skirts, plenty of floral prints, and of course, a wealth of good boots. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Emily Blunt on Wild Mountain Thyme and Her Romantic Virtual Press Tour Wardrobe," 15 Dec. 2020

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.

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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

Time Traveler

The first known use of tartan was circa 1500

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Statistics for tartan

Last Updated

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tartan.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tartan. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of tartan

: a traditional Scottish cloth pattern of stripes in different colors and widths that cross each other to form squares
: fabric with a tartan pattern


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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