taw·​ny | \ ˈtȯ-nē How to pronounce tawny (audio) , ˈtä-nē \
tawnier; tawniest

Definition of tawny

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of the color tawny
2 : of a warm sandy color the lion's tawny coat


plural tawnies

Definition of tawny (Entry 2 of 2)

: a brownish-orange to light brown color

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Other Words from tawny


tawniness noun

Synonyms for tawny

Synonyms: Adjective

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Examples of tawny in a Sentence

Adjective the tawny coat of a lion
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Celebrity models, including Natalia Vodianova and Karlie Kloss, posed in a square, tawny brown annex with a forest-scape of diverse and unusual trees. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Dior celebrates nature to kick off Paris Fashion Week," 24 Sep. 2019 Then, in 10-15 minute intervals and at least 3 times, deglaze the onions in the pot with 1/4 cup of the water, stirring and scraping well throughout, until the onions are rendered a thick mass that is tawny brown. Bill St. John, The Denver Post, "Get Cooking: French onion soup takes time," 6 Nov. 2019 The blend of mezcal, sherry, tawny port and chocolate bitters costs $20, with the hotel donating $1 of that to the World Wildlife Fund. Lori Rackl, chicagotribune.com, "Check out what Chicago hotels are doing with the Warhol exhibit, from creative cocktails to a pop-up suite with a silver wig," 6 Nov. 2019 The dhole -- a tawny-colored wild dog -- is also highly endangered. Sarah Lazarus, CNN, "'Barbaric' snares are wiping out Southeast Asia's wild animals," 16 Oct. 2019 Here, dozens of young men and women, mostly taut and tawny, glistened beneath the afternoon sun. Deanna Pan, BostonGlobe.com, "Southie’s line in the sand is at M Street Beach," 23 Aug. 2019 In full shade, please plant: lily-of-the-valley, ferns, wild tawny orange daylilies (but not the colorful hybrids), annual impatien, and, best of all, hosta. Boston.com Real Estate, "Ask the Gardener: Tips for ridding your lawn of creeping Charlie," 21 Aug. 2019 Taking in the tawny stone floors and rainfall showers, there appear to have been few concessions made to the fact that space on any boat is at a premium. Jo Rodgers, Condé Nast Traveler, "On the Slow Boat Through Burgundy: A Barge Trip in France," 3 July 2019 Those in want of a dramatic hair color transformation tend to go for deep brunette or tawny blonde, the better to channel autumn's mise en scène. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Cardi B’s Surprise Performance in Paris Features Her Most Striking Hair Color Yet," 26 Sep. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Belquis Zahir rents out Filicudi House, almost a companion piece to Zucco Grande, with the same tawny, Afghan smoothness. Antonia Quirke, Condé Nast Traveler, "These Islands Near Sicily Might Be the Last Uncrowded Part of Italy," 22 Aug. 2019 Between us are a tawny Oriental rug and a table set with a pot of coffee and a spread of pastries in a striped Financier Patisserie box. Amy Chozick, Vogue, "Stormy Daniels Isn’t Backing Down," 28 Aug. 2018 Pour a delicate moscato with a fruit tart, a fortified tawny port with a decadent chocolate mousse. Catherine Lo, Good Housekeeping, "5 Quick Wine Pairing Tips for Valentine's Day," 10 Feb. 2011 Lunar eclipses occur when the sun and moon are in direct opposition, a phenomenon that temporarily turns the moon a tawny, red tone. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What July's Pisces Horoscope Means for You," 29 June 2018 As Zarate places the skewers on the cast iron, the strips of flesh sear on contact, the anticucho sauce sizzling into an instant tawny crust. Patric Kuh, Los Angeles Magazine, "The Food at Rosaliné Is Full of Heart (Yes, Literally) and You Need to Taste It," 29 Sep. 2017 Simon's version of the highball, on the menu as the Ghost In The Shell, mixes Suntory's Toki, Niepoort tawny port, Weatherby's orange saffron bitters and apricot La Croix. Shelbie Lynn Bostedt, chicagotribune.com, "Move over, sake: Chicago's thirst for Japanese whisky is on the rise," 11 Sep. 2017 Continue whisking for up to 20-30 minutes on a very slow flame until the roux goes from a light tawny to the color of peanut butter or dark chocolate (depending on its eventual use). Amy Brothers, The Denver Post, "Get Cooking: Mother Sauces — for Mother’s Day, of course," 11 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tawny.' 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 tawny


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tawny


Middle English, from Anglo-French tané, tauné, literally, tanned, from past participle of tanner to tan

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Time Traveler for tawny

Time Traveler

The first known use of tawny was in the 14th century

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Statistics for tawny

Last Updated

6 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Tawny.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tawninesses. Accessed 13 December 2019.

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More Definitions for tawny


How to pronounce tawny (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of tawny

: having a brownish-orange color


taw·​ny | \ ˈtȯ-nē How to pronounce tawny (audio) \
tawnier; tawniest

Kids Definition of tawny

: of a brownish orange color

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More from Merriam-Webster on tawny

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tawny

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tawny

Spanish Central: Translation of tawny

Nglish: Translation of tawny for Spanish Speakers

Comments on tawny

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


easily led, controlled, or managed

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