Share this entry


Synonyms of tan in English:


  • 1 a tan waistcoat
    yellowish-brown, light brown, pale brown, beige, tawny
  • verb

    Back to top  
  • 1 use a sunscreen to help you tan
    become suntanned, get a suntan, brown, go/get/become brown, bronze
  • 2 informal I'll tan his hide See thrash (sense 1)
  • Reflections


    In Edward Albee's play The American Dream, there is a running gag about whether a hat is beige, wheat, or cream. Fine distinctions used to be made about gradations of racial makeup (quadroon, octoroon, etc.) and correlating skin tone (chocolate, coffee, yellow, mocha, olive), but in contemporary usage we seem to consider brown colors beneath precise description.
    Stephin Merritt

    Definition of tan in:

    Share this entry


    What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

    Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

    Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

    Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

    Word of the day luxe
    Pronunciation: lʌks
    expensive and of high quality; luxurious