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tan

1
[tan]
verb (used with object), tanned, tan·ning.
  1. to convert (a hide) into leather, especially by soaking or steeping in a bath prepared from tanbark or synthetically.
  2. to make brown by exposure to ultraviolet rays, as of the sun.
  3. Informal. to thrash; spank.
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verb (used without object), tanned, tan·ning.
  1. to become tanned.
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noun
  1. the brown color imparted to the skin by exposure to the sun or open air.
  2. yellowish brown; light brown.
  3. tanbark.
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adjective, tan·ner, tan·nest.
  1. of the color of tan; yellowish-brown.
  2. used in or relating to tanning processes, materials, etc.
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Idioms
  1. tan someone's hide, Informal. to beat someone soundly: She threatened to tan our hides if she found us on her property again.
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Origin of tan

1
before 1000; 1920–25 for def 2; Middle English tannen to make hide into leather, late Old English *tannian (in past participle getanned; cf. tanner1) < Medieval Latin tannāre, derivative of tannum oak bark, tanbark < Germanic; compare Old High German tanna oak, fir, akin to Dutch den fir
Related formstan·na·ble, adjectiveun·tanned, adjectivewell-tanned, adjective

tan

2
[tan]
noun
  1. tangent(def 5b).
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Origin of tan

2
by shortening

TAN

[tan]
noun
  1. tax-anticipation note.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for tans

beige, drab, khaki, brownish, brown, natural, gold, saddle, ecru, cream, bronze, buff, biscuit, sand, suntan, olive, umber, lash, thrash, cane

Examples from the Web for tans

Contemporary Examples of tans

Historical Examples of tans

  • It must be this climate that tans them to such a glorious shade, said Ray.

    Polly's Southern Cruise

    Lillian Elizabeth Roy

  • The flowers are three inches long, yellow tinged with tans and reds.

    The Fantastic Clan

    John James Thornber

  • A white powder is obtained which tans when its solution is acidified.

    Animal Proteins

    Hugh Garner Bennett

  • Her face was a true oval, and her complexion of that kind which tans readily but does not freckle.

  • Browns and tans seemed best and safest in a little house like this, and I knew I shouldn't tire of them as of any other color!


British Dictionary definitions for tans

Tans

pl n
  1. the Tans Irish informal short for the Black and Tans
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tan

1
noun
  1. the brown colour produced by the skin after intensive exposure to ultraviolet rays, esp those of the sun
  2. a light or moderate yellowish-brown colour
  3. short for tanbark
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verb tans, tanning or tanned
  1. to go brown or cause to go brown after exposure to ultraviolet raysshe tans easily
  2. 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
  3. (tr) slang to beat or flog
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adjective tanner or tannest
  1. of the colour tantan gloves
  2. used in or relating to tanning
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Derived Formstannable, adjectivetannish, adjective

Word Origin for tan

Old English tannian (unattested as infinitive, attested as getanned, past participle), from Medieval Latin tannāre, from tannum tanbark, perhaps of Celtic origin; compare Irish tana thin

tan

2
abbreviation for
  1. tangent (sense 2)
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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 tans

tan

v.

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.

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tan

n.

"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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

tans in Science

tan

  1. Abbreviation of tangent
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.