tartan

[ tahr-tn ]
/ ˈtɑr tn /

noun

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.

adjective

of, relating to, or resembling tartan.
made of tartan.

Origin of tartan

1490–1500; variant of tertane < Middle French tertaine (Old French tiretaine) linsey-woolsey
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tartan

British Dictionary definitions for tartan (1 of 2)

tartan

1
/ (ˈtɑːtən) /

noun

  1. 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
  2. (as modifier)a tartan kilt
a woollen fabric or garment with this design
the tartan Highland dress

Derived Forms

tartaned, adjective

Word Origin for tartan

C16: perhaps from Old French tertaine linsey-woolsey, from Old Spanish tiritaña a fine silk fabric, from tiritar to rustle

British Dictionary definitions for tartan (2 of 2)

tartan

2
/ (ˈtɑːtən) /

noun

a single-masted vessel used in the Mediterranean, usually with a lateen sail

Word Origin for tartan

C17: from French, perhaps from Provençal tartana falcon, buzzard, since a ship was frequently given the name of a bird
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