[tahr-luh-tn, -tuh n]


a thin, plain-weave, open-mesh cotton fabric finished with stiffening agents and sometimes glazed.

Origin of tarlatan

1720–30; < French tarlatane, dissimilated variant of tarnatane kind of cloth orig. imported from India < ?
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Examples from the Web for tarlatan

Historical Examples of tarlatan

  • A lady comes home at midnight from a ball, in a tarlatan frock.

    Wagner at Home

    Judith Gautier

  • Tarlatan already prepared, may be purchased at the upholsterers'.

  • Look, we'll put the tarlatan away in the drawer I take my things out of.


    Compton Mackenzie

  • It seems to me that tulle and tarlatan and maline were your dope.

    Out of the Air

    Inez Haynes Irwin

  • The next morning Nan was tacking up some tarlatan at a window to keep the midges out.

British Dictionary definitions for tarlatan



an open-weave cotton fabric, used for stiffening garments

Word Origin for tarlatan

C18: from French tarlatane, variant of tarnatane type of muslin, perhaps of Indian origin
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