noun (used with a plural verb)

a tan military uniform for summer wear.

Origin of suntans

1935–40, Americanism; see suntan, -s3




a browning or a brown color of the skin resulting from exposure to sunlight or a sunlamp; tan.
Also called mayfair tan, merida. a light to medium yellow-brown.
Also called pastel orange. a medium orange color.

verb (used with or without object), sun·tanned, sun·tan·ning.

Origin of suntan

First recorded in 1900–05; sun + tan1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for suntans

Contemporary Examples of suntans

Historical Examples of suntans

  • He was a tall, spare man in suntans, with a sunburned face and cold eyes.

    The Leech

    Phillips Barbee

  • General O'Donnell, still in suntans, was seated at a small desk.

    The Leech

    Phillips Barbee

British Dictionary definitions for suntans



  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 suntans



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper