- a woolen or worsted cloth woven with stripes of different colors and widths crossing at right angles, worn chiefly by the Scottish Highlanders, each clan having its own distinctive plaid.
- a design of such a plaid known by the name of the clan wearing it.
- any plaid.
- of, relating to, or resembling tartan.
- made of tartan.
Origin of tartan
Related Words for tartanjumble, plaid, mishmash, tartan, salmagundi, hash, salad, confusion, muddle, medley, stew, miscellany, pastiche, disorder, check, patchwork, quilt, checkerboard, variegated, checked
Examples from the Web for tartan
Contemporary Examples of tartan
They stood at attention in their tartan kilts, white leggings and bearskin hats as a Marine band struck up “Hail to the Chief.”Michael Daly: My Last Day With JFK
November 11, 2013
I can barely imagine what tartan might have done to my psyche.The Seneca Tartan?
September 14, 2012
Historical Examples of tartan
You have the kilt at every turn, in every tartan, and often in no tartan at all.Camps, Quarters and Casual Places
The doctor is nearing them rapidly; they can imagine the shepherd's tartan.A Doctor of the Old School, Part 3
The tartan touched at the harbour of Pola, called Veruda, and we landed.The Memoires of Casanova, Complete
Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
One of them—he recognised to his delight—was a Cameron tartan, often worn by Euphra.David Elginbrod
He wore the "trews" of tartan, which in itself showed him a man of consideration.Red Cap Tales
Samuel Rutherford Crockett
- a design of straight lines, crossing at right angles to give a chequered appearance, esp the distinctive design or designs associated with each Scottish clanthe Buchanan tartan
- (as modifier)a tartan kilt
- a woollen fabric or garment with this design
- the tartan Highland dress
Word Origin for tartan
- a single-masted vessel used in the Mediterranean, usually with a lateen sail
Word Origin for tartan
Word Origin and History for tartan
mid-15c., perhaps from Middle French tiretaine "strong, coarse fabric" (mid-13c.), from Old French tiret "kind of cloth," from tire "silk cloth," from Medieval Latin tyrius "cloth from Tyre." If this is the source, spelling likely influenced in Middle English by tartaryn "rich silk cloth" (mid-14c.), from Old French tartarin "Tartar cloth," from Tartare "Tartar," the Central Asian people (see Tartar).