Main definitions of tan in English

: tan1tan2

tan1

noun

  • 1mass noun A yellowish-brown colour.

    ‘the overall colour scheme of tan and cream’
    • ‘The puppies are both crossbred males, one is black and white and smooth-coated and the other is nearly all black with some tan colouring.’
    • ‘They are usually brown, but can vary in colour from light tan to black.’
    • ‘She was dressed in tan fishing overalls with a fishing hat, bulky black boots, and a pink T-shirt underneath.’
    • ‘His face bore no expression whatsoever, he took off his tan coloured sunglasses and revealed dark eyes underneath the lens.’
    • ‘We were impressed by the counter itself, plated in copper, which played nicely to the general tan and dark wood colours dominating the room.’
    • ‘Tim, to the uninitiated, may look just like many other tan coloured dogs but that would be an underestimation.’
    • ‘The overriding colours are natural hues of tan, brown and olive greens contrasted with a bright white base, to give a soft, earthy look.’
    • ‘Reddish brown to yellowish tan, they partly cover themselves with sand or mud to disappear from the view of their unwary prey.’
    • ‘These would be pale tan or yellow shirts adorned with the name of one's employer or sponsor on the back.’
    • ‘Available in baby blue and tan - at that price, you can afford both.’
    • ‘That tan dress was more than familiar; it was the most beautiful thing I had seen in a while.’
    • ‘White wedding gowns are still red-hot, but more adventurous brides are bringing in more colour to their gowns, wearing dresses with a tan or beige or pink hue.’
    • ‘They were a tan beige color that was accented by the walls and the carpets with more tan and beige colours.’
    • ‘Its offices, decorated in shades of pastel yellow and tan, looked perfectly professional - even stylish.’
    • ‘Most yellow or tan types found in grocery and health-food stores are hard to digest and take forever to cook.’
    • ‘They were dressed in tan and gray short-sleeved uniforms, and they all bore holstered guns.’
    • ‘Khaki, beige, tan, black, navy, and gray pants are the best options as these can be worn with pastel and neutral colors.’
    • ‘I suggest rich colors such as burgundy, black, tan, beige, and dark brown.’
    • ‘He is black and white in colour with a little tan on his face.’
    • ‘I'm convinced she got me addicted to girls with large eyes, hers a sparkling grey/blue nestled amongst long, light tan lashes.’
    yellowish brown, brownish yellow, light brown, pale brown, tawny
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  • 2A golden-brown shade of skin developed by pale-skinned people after exposure to the sun.

    ‘Jenna managed to get an even golden tan’
    • ‘If you want the golden glow of a tan without exposure to damaging UV light, consider using sunless tanning products or bronzers.’
    • ‘Develop golden tans and honour requests for autographs.’
    • ‘Flawless skin and a radiant tan are key to complementing the clothing trends for spring and summer 2002.’
    • ‘The holiday photographs show her apparently in the best of health, smiling on the balcony, her skin glowing with a tan.’
    • ‘The colour from her tan had all but drained from her, her limbs were heavy and powerless, but she was by no means dead.’
    • ‘Her nails are short and not in the least scary, there is no electric tan, deathly blonde hair or sticky lipstick.’
    • ‘It was lovely, a nice green colour that would have brought out your tan.’
    • ‘Later, he would grow a moustache and work on his tan, which is a deep, reddish-bronze colour.’
    • ‘Most important, I'd like something that does not make me look washed-out or in need of a tan.’
    • ‘She recently had her dark hair cut short and now wears it gamine and honey-coloured, which suits her clean bone structure and a light summer tan.’
    • ‘My eldest son's holiday reading was the brand new Harry Potter and, with his sun-streaked hair and mahogany tan, he looked like a local.’
    • ‘Other salons across Scotland are now looking at the technology, which its manufacturers claim is safer than sunbeds and gives a more natural tan.’
    • ‘And to prove he is a country boy, there is the v-neck open shirt tan.’
    • ‘You get a half baked tan/sunburn due to being stooped over the shovel or work area, but the 95 degree heat helps sweat off the pounds.’
    • ‘It is a busy time for vacation home rentals and theme parks alike, but also an excellent time to work on getting that gorgeous bronzed tan!’
    • ‘I mean, I never did get that perfect tan, so unless I invest some hard hours in a tanning booth or something they will never be perfect summer legs.’
    • ‘I got a decent base tan without turning into a blistery tomato.’
    • ‘The solution in the airbrush contains self-tanner, bronzer and a moisturizer, and results in a perfectly even all-over tan.’
    • ‘In the pages of every celebrity bible, there seemed to be no escape from her rich walnut tan, flashing diamond knuckledusters and distinctive gravelly features.’
    • ‘‘I didn't have any expectations,’ he says through a thick Malibu tan.’
    become suntanned, take a suntan, take a tan, brown, become brown, go brown, bronze
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  • 3

    (also tanbark)
    mass noun Bark of oak or other trees, bruised and used as a source of tannin for converting hides into leather.

    • ‘Back in America, Quercus prinus was better known as mountain or rock oak, after its preferred habitat; tanbark oak after its preferred use; and nowadays, chestnut oak after the shape of its leaves.’
    • ‘It sniffed at me calmly, gave a canine-style shrug, and disappeared behind tanbark oaks.’
    • ‘Should tan bark be laid where leaves fall?’
    • ‘Peeling tan bark had to take place in the spring time when the tan-oak trees were full of sap.’
    • ‘Mangroves forests used to be the source of tan bark for the tannin extract industry, while now there is little or no commercial extraction of timber and mangrove wood is widely used locally for fuel, charcoal and for the manufacture of poles and piles.’
    1. 3.1Tan from which the tannin has been extracted, used for covering the ground for walking, riding, children's play, etc., and in gardening.
      • ‘He held his breath as he positioned himself meticulously in the tanbark, shoelaces of his sneakers quivering.’
      • ‘She had stayed away from the sandpit, and the tanbark, and all the play equipment.’
      • ‘I grinned broadly and stepped off the footpath, slowly making my way across the grass, stepping into the large wooden-plank-outlined square of tanbark, and heading straight for the swings.’
      • ‘The original tannery with its vats, bark mill and heaps of spent tan was located between the homestead and the building to the north.’
      • ‘This has not lessened the popularity of spent tanbark as a ground covering in such places as circus arenas, horse tracks, and children's playgrounds.’

verbtans, tanning, tanned

  • 1no object (of a pale-skinned person or their skin) become brown or browner after exposure to the sun.

    ‘you'll tan very quickly in the pure air’
    1. 1.1usually as adjective tannedwith object (of the sun) cause (a pale-skinned person or their skin) to become brown or browner.
      ‘he looked tanned and fit’
  • 2with object Convert (animal skin) into leather by soaking in a liquid containing tannic acid, or by the use of other chemicals.

  • 3informal, dated with object Beat (someone) repeatedly as a punishment.

    ‘‘If Mickey touches a fishing net, I'll tan his hide!’’
    thrash, beat, wallop, belt, strap, spank, whip, lash, leather, cane, flog, flail, flagellate, horsewhip, birch, switch, flay
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adjective

  • 1Of a yellowish-brown color.

    ‘a tan baseball cap with orange piping’
  • 2North American (of a pale-skinned person) having golden-brown skin after exposure to the sun.

    ‘she looks tall, tan, and healthy’

Origin

Late Old English tannian ‘convert into leather’, probably from medieval Latin tannare, perhaps of Celtic origin; reinforced in Middle English by Old French tanner. Early use of the noun (late Middle English) was in tan (sense 3 of the noun).

Pronunciation

tan

/tan/

Main definitions of tan in English

: tan1tan2

tan2

abbreviation

  • Tangent.

Pronunciation

tan

/tan/