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  1. a browning or a brown color of the skin resulting from exposure to sunlight or a sunlamp; tan.
  2. Also called mayfair tan, merida. a light to medium yellow-brown.
  3. Also called pastel orange. a medium orange color.
verb (used with or without object), sun·tanned, sun·tan·ning.
  1. tan1(defs 2, 4).

Origin of suntan

First recorded in 1900–05; sun + tan1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for suntan

Historical Examples of suntan

British Dictionary definitions for suntan


    1. a brownish colouring of the skin caused by the formation of the pigment melanin within the skin on exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun or a sunlampOften shortened to: tan
    2. (as modifier)suntan oil
Derived Formssuntanned, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for suntan

also sun-tan, 1821, from sun (n.) + tan (v.). Related: Suntanned; suntanning. As a noun from 1904.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper