Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “tan”

tan

noun [C] uk   /tæn/ (also suntan) us  
B2 pleasantly brown skin caused by being in the hot sun: a deep tanThe skin, and skin colour

tan

adjective uk   /tæn/ us  
pale yellowish-brown in colourLess common coloursCommon colours
tan
noun [U] uk   us  

tan

verb uk   /tæn/ (-nn-) us  

tan verb (COLOUR)

[I or T] to become brown, or to make someone's body or skin, etc. brown, from being in the sun: Her skin tans very quickly in the summer. I need to tan my legs before the holiday. Tanned workmen were sitting around the dock.The skin, and skin colour

tan verb (LEATHER)

[T] to change animal skin into leather using special chemicals such as tanninTanning and leatherIndustrial processing

tan

abbreviation uk   /tæn/ us  
written abbreviation for tangentParts of geometrical shapes
(Definition of tan from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of tan?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “tan” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

blueprint

a photographic copy of an early plan for a building or machine

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More