verb (used with object), tanned, tan·ning.
verb (used without object), tanned, tan·ning.
adjective, tan·ner, tan·nest.
Origin of tan1
verb tans, tanning or tanned
adjective tanner or tannest
Word Origin 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.
tan someone's hide
Also, have someone's hide. Spank or beat someone, as in Dad said he'd tan Billy's hide if he caught him smoking, or I'll have your hide if you take something without paying for it. This term uses hide in the sense of “skin.” The allusion in the first expression is to a spanking that will change one's skin just as chemicals tan animal hide (convert it into leather). [Second half of 1600s]