- to convert (a hide) into leather, especially by soaking or steeping in a bath prepared from tanbark or synthetically.
- to make brown by exposure to ultraviolet rays, as of the sun.
- Informal. to thrash; spank.
- to become tanned.
- the brown color imparted to the skin by exposure to the sun or open air.
- yellowish brown; light brown.
- of the color of tan; yellowish-brown.
- used in or relating to tanning processes, materials, etc.
- tan someone's hide, Informal. to beat someone soundly: She threatened to tan our hides if she found us on her property again.
Origin of tan1
Origin of tan2
- Amy,born 1952, U.S. novelist.
- tax-anticipation note.
- arc tangent.
Examples from the Web for tan
Otis says he was wearing a tan jacket similar to one described by witnesses.His First Day Out Of Jail After 40 Years: Adjusting To Life Outside
January 3, 2015
Little ricochets of dust kicked into the face of a tall man in a tan shalwar kameez and prayer cap.I Shot Bin Laden
November 16, 2014
During the season, he regularly takes a dugout seat where he can work on his tan.Will the Real Jim Palmer Please Stand Up
September 27, 2014
He had on tan pants and a white T-shirt, had a goatee, and his overgrown hair was held back to one side with a barrette.The Stacks: The Day ‘The Big Lebowski’ Came to Life
July 26, 2014
His tan suggests he just stepped off a yacht or out of the pages of a J. Crew catalogue.Inside Uber’s Political War Machine
June 30, 2014
Let the leatherist guard his premises with a good-sized Black—and tan.
He rose when she entered, and if he was not as pale as she was, it was because his tan dissembled it.Captain Blood
There was a dull flush showing through the tan of Fletcher's skin.Mistress Wilding
Tan also is due to pigment in the skin and is caused by light.Common Science
Carleton W. Washburne
Code had gone a sickly pallor that looked hideous through his tan.The Harbor of Doubt
- the brown colour produced by the skin after intensive exposure to ultraviolet rays, esp those of the sun
- a light or moderate yellowish-brown colour
- short for tanbark
- to go brown or cause to go brown after exposure to ultraviolet raysshe tans easily
- to convert (a skin or hide) into leather by treating it with a tanning agent, such as vegetable tannins, chromium salts, fish oils, or formaldehyde
- (tr) slang to beat or flog
- of the colour tantan gloves
- used in or relating to tanning
- tangent (sense 2)
Word Origin and History for tan
late Old English tannian "to convert hide into leather" (by steeping it in tannin), from Medieval Latin tannare "tan, dye, a tawny color" (c.900), from tannum "crushed oak bark," used in tanning leather, probably from a Celtic source (e.g. Breton tann "oak tree"). The meaning "make brown by exposure to the sun" first recorded 1520s. To tan (someone's) hide in the figurative sense is from 1660s. Related: Tanned; tanning.
"bronze color imparted to skin by exposure to sun," 1749, see tan (v.). As a simple name for a brownish color, in any context, it is recorded from 1888. The adjective tan "of the color of tanned leather" is recorded from 1660s.
- Abbreviation of tangent