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[suhn-tan] /ˈsʌnˌtæn/
a browning or a brown color of the skin resulting from exposure to sunlight or a sunlamp; tan.
Also called mayfair tan, merida. a light to medium yellow-brown.
Also called pastel orange. a medium orange color.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), suntanned, suntanning.
tan1 (defs 2, 4).
Origin of suntan
1900-05; sun + tan1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for suntan
  • Moreover, the cheaper flights get, the easier it is to travel south for a suntan.
  • Some suntan oils smell of coconut, so the scent is supposed to remind people of past holidays.
  • On my fingers your slick scent mixed with the coconut musk of the suntan lotion we'd repeatedly smeared over each other's bodies.
  • Apply suntan lotion as needed to prevent a skin burn while out on the bay.
  • Beach butlers provide cold towel service, ice water, suntan lotion and other items for guests sun tanning in the beach cabanas.
  • Here the beaches are wider and sandier, providing ample opportunities to swim and suntan.
  • Amenities included with a beach cabana rental include non-alcoholic beverages, suntan lotion and fluffy towels.
  • Light, airy and quintessentially summer, straw seems to conjure up images of vacation and the sweet smell of suntan lotion.
  • Some suntan lotions contain a type of alcohol called ethanol.
  • Bronzing of the skin may sometimes be mistaken for a suntan.
British Dictionary definitions for suntan


  1. a brownish colouring of the skin caused by the formation of the pigment melanin within the skin on exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun or a sunlamp Often shortened to tan
  2. (as modifier): suntan oil
Derived Forms
suntanned, adjective
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
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Word Origin and History for suntan

also sun-tan, 1821, from sun (n.) + tan (v.). Related: Suntanned; suntanning. As a noun from 1904.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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