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

blond (or blonde), fair, flaxen, golden, sandy, straw

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Examples of tawny in a Sentence


the tawny coat of a lion

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 The lion, a tawny silhouette with washy internal detailing, is a compositional place marker. New York Times, "What Leonardo da Vinci Couldn’t Finish," 11 July 2019 After some deliberation, Justine carried a bouquet down the aisle, in the color palette of the day: tawny oatmeals, ochre, beige, white, and soft blue. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Custom Suits & Roadside Burgers: How Celebrity Hairstylist Justine Marjan Eloped in Santa Barbara," 21 June 2019 The tawny pastry itself is only lightly sweetened, dense and slightly crunchy at the outside, like most good doughnuts, with a vaguely oily nuttiness and an almost substantial chew. Peter Meehan, latimes.com, "All about the epic strawberry doughnuts from the Donut Man," 25 June 2019 Conservationists say that poachers targeted the birds—two tawny eagles and 537 vultures comprising five different species—because their scavenging activities, particularly circling carrion, can alert authorities to hunters’ presence. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Poachers’ Poison Kills 530 Endangered Vultures in Botswana," 25 June 2019

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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Statistics for tawny

Last Updated

30 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for tawny

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

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More Definitions for tawny



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tawny

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tawny

Spanish Central: Translation of tawny

Nglish: Translation of tawny for Spanish Speakers

Comments on tawny

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recurring in steady succession

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