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

Scientist and photographer Jeffrey Kerby, who spent almost a decade working at the gelada project, once watched a tawny serval make off with a baby monkey. Craig Welch, National Geographic, "These tough-looking monkeys eke out a living at 11,000 feet," 28 Mar. 2019 Soft tawny waves and petal pink lips tied the look together. Akili King, Vogue, "The Best Beauty Instagrams of the Week: Gabrielle Union, Pharrell, and More," 2 June 2019 This natural, tawny pink always goes on smooth and, somehow, hydrates my lips. Glamour, "I’m Wearing Only Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk Lipstick From Now On," 12 Mar. 2019 Favorite tones from her beloved Market Collection will also be available exterior paint now: Shiplap, a tawny off-white, Blackboard, a trusty charcoal, and Weekend, the perfect dark teal. Amanda Sims, House Beautiful, "Joanna Gaines Wants to Paint the Outside of Your House," 1 Mar. 2019 The backstage pro began by turning up naturally luminous complexions, blending tawny, bronzed cream pigments on the nose and apples of the cheeks in a reverse V-shape as if models got too much sun traipsing around the South of France. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "There’s a Daring (and Surprisingly Wearable!) Beauty Trend Happening on the Paris Runway," 29 Sep. 2018 And the veteran Queen of Cool, Freja Beha Erichsen, is crowned with a headbanging shag of tawny chestnut strands to match her devil-may-care, off-duty style. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "8 Models Who Are Making Honey Brown Hair the New Scandinavian Signature," 7 Aug. 2018 There's what appears to be a super-pale or clear shade, a mauve, a tawny color, a medium tan, a richer brown, a golden champagne, and a coppery bronze. Marci Robin, Allure, "Kylie Jenner Teases New High Gloss Lip Glosses Launching in November," 31 Oct. 2018 Her friends had gathered at the back of the boat in late May, tossing bits of fish to a group of tawny nurse sharks in the water, Brunning told the West Australian newspaper. Avi Selk, Washington Post, "She wanted to hand-feed a shark but then aghh no not like that why???," 2 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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

21 Jun 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

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


to take the place or position of

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