Also found in: Thesaurus, Financial, Idioms, Encyclopedia.

tan 1

v. tanned, tan·ning, tans
1. To convert (an animal hide) into leather by subjecting it to a chemical process that stabilizes the proteins, making it less susceptible to decay.
a. To make (a person or a person's skin) darker by exposure to the sun.
b. To make (a person or a person's skin) darker by exposure to artificial sunlight or by the application of certain chemicals, often in the form of sprays or lotions.
3. Informal To thrash; beat.
To become darker from exposure to the sun or artificial sunlight, or from the application of certain chemicals.
1. A light or moderate yellowish brown to brownish orange.
a. A suntan.
b. An artificially created suntan.
3. Tanbark.
a. Tannin.
b. A solution derived from tannin.
adj. tan·ner, tan·nest
1. Light or moderate yellowish-brown to brownish-orange.
2. Having a suntan or the appearance of a suntan.
3. Used in or relating to tanning.

[Middle English tannen, from Old English *tannian, from Medieval Latin tannāre, from tannum, tanbark, probably of Celtic origin.]

tan′nish adj.

tan 2

abbr. Mathematics


n. pl. Tan or Tans
See Tanka.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.tannish - of a color resembling tan
chromatic - being or having or characterized by hue
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Pours out as a deep, dark ruby color with a creamy, tannish head.
The overall predominant color is a tannish brown that the artist contrasts with black and white imagery in the two horizons, the hair and mane, and the fantastic Don Quixote in the upper third.