1 [tan]
verb (used with object), tanned, tanning.
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.
verb (used without object), tanned, tanning.
to become tanned.
the brown color imparted to the skin by exposure to the sun or open air.
yellowish brown; light brown.
adjective, tanner, tannest.
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.

before 1000; 1920–25 for def 2; Middle English tannen to make hide into leather, late Old English *tannian (in past participle getanned; cf. tanner1) < Medieval Latin tannāre, derivative of tannum oak bark, tanbark < Germanic; compare Old High German tanna oak, fir, akin to Dutch den fir

tannable, adjective
untanned, adjective
well-tanned, adjective
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World English Dictionary
tan1 (tæn)
1.  the brown colour produced by the skin after intensive exposure to ultraviolet rays, esp those of the sun
2.  a light or moderate yellowish-brown colour
3.  short for tanbark
vb , tans, tanning, tanned
4.  to go brown or cause to go brown after exposure to ultraviolet rays: she tans easily
5.  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
6.  slang (tr) to beat or flog
adj , tans, tanning, tanned, tanner, tannest
7.  of the colour tan: tan gloves
8.  used in or relating to tanning
[Old English tannian (unattested as infinitive, attested as getanned, past participle), from Medieval Latin tannāre, from tannum tanbark, perhaps of Celtic origin; compare Irish tana thin]

tan2 (tæn)
abbreviation for
tangent (sense 2)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

late O.E. tannian "to convert hide into leather" (by steeping it in tannin), from M.L. 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 1530. To tan (someone's) hide in the figurative sense is from 1670. The adj. tan "of the color of tanned leather" is recorded from 1665; the noun sense of "bronze color imparted to skin by exposure to sun" is from 1749; as a simple name for a brownish color, in any context, it is recorded from 1888.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Science Dictionary
Abbreviation of tangent
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Abbreviations & Acronyms
teeny area network
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
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Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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