- 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
- tax-anticipation note.
Examples from the Web for tans
He tans, moisturizes, exfoliates, and buffs, and then gels his hair back, with a crisp white button-up.In ‘Mansome,’ Morgan Spurlock Takes On Modern Masculinity
April 27, 2012
Real-life Israelis, with tans and guns, Jewish tanks, Hebrew spoken in the streets.How I Lost My Zionism
March 15, 2012
Their "tans," Reed says, were "melting down their muscles and dripping on the floor."Spray-Tan Horror Stories
July 7, 2010
Sarah Palin tans, and she effectively coined the phrase Real America.My Great Fake Bake Experiment
January 6, 2009
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.The Keepers of the King's Peace
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!A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband
Louise Bennett Weaver
- the Tans Irish informal short for the Black and Tans
- 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 tans
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