One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Denoting an animal, especially a horse or cow, having a coat of a main colour thickly interspersed with hairs of another colour, typically bay, chestnut, or black mixed with white.
- ‘The roan gelding set off immediately and the buggy headed back down the road to pass under the large stone arch.’
- ‘Gualtero rounded the corner leading the horses - his palomino stallion, Sullivan's buckskin mare, and a third horse, a roan mare with a creamy blond mane and tail.’
- ‘Milo's steed, a roan stallion with a flaxen mane and tail, looked at her with ears pricked up.’
- ‘Outside, a roan mare and a grey gelding waited for us.’
- ‘She spotted him slipping off his roan horse next to the tree she'd been hiding behind just moments before.’
- ‘My mare now turned her head and nibbled at the neck of the roan horse Sidroc rode.’
- ‘As the lead donkey, a roan stallion came within a hundred paces of the gate, it stopped and the animals began to bunch up behind him.’
- ‘A stableboy met them with a roan pony, sleek and comfortably saddled.’
- ‘Outside, the lawman's saddle was already on a fine looking roan mare.’
- ‘He reined his roan mare and fell behind his master.’
- ‘Liszt bit his lower lip, readying his roan horse for the long trip ahead.’
- ‘‘I don't see the gray man you described or a roan pinto though,’ Biagio said.’
- ‘Sullivan shouted as the roan pinto plummeted from sight.’
- ‘A townsman appeared in the door as we approached, leading one of the roan Belgians out onto the road.’
usually with modifier A roan animal.‘a blue roan’
- ‘The newcomers are roans with white faces and each has four white stockings.’
- ‘The roan reminded me of him, and I recalled fondly how fast his legs had been, and how I had yearned to gallop him to faraway lands, but hadn't known where to go.’
- ‘Hirshall kicked the big roan on, and Joe's shorter legged mare was suddenly hard put to to keep up.’
- ‘Sullivan took his buckskin mare's reins and ran a fond hand over the animal's forehead as he eyed the roan.’
- ‘Unicorns of nearly every shade passed her eyes; there was a bay, a beautiful roan, a chestnut, and a unicorn black in color.’
- ‘His horse was an old roan he'd had since, well, about forever.’
- ‘In the last couple of days, has anyone come into town riding a roan with a Collins & Morrison saddle?’
- ‘As if on cue, the chestnut roan he had given her to ride stomped its hoof in agreement, undoubtedly tired and hungry herself.’
- ‘There were two horses under the oak where Bryony had left Drake and she immediately recognized the second as Driscoll's roan.’
- ‘Chuckling at the raised eyebrow from the pretty girl sitting astride the chestnut roan, he replied to her unasked question.’
- ‘Charlie left town on his roan with the palomino and a donkey laden down with supplies.’
- ‘The roan the girl was riding snorted and pulled back it's ears in protest.’
Mid 16th century: from Old French, of unknown origin.
Soft flexible leather made from sheepskin, used in bookbinding as a substitute for morocco.as modifier ‘books in contemporary half roan gilt’
Early 19th century: perhaps from Roan, the old name of the French town of Rouen.
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