Definition of suntan in US English:



  • A browning of skin caused by exposure to the sun.

    ‘he had acquired quite a suntan’
    • ‘The drug company was originally interested in the stuff as a drug to help light-skinned people get better suntans.’
    • ‘Millions are sporting suntans / sunburn following the Hottest Weekend in British History.’
    • ‘Seeing all those skinny girls in the movies wearing bikinis and their long straight hair and suntans made me feel very Midwestern and un-groovy.’
    • ‘Out came the girls and they were an eye-catching lot with their Californian suntans, colt-like legs and high, provocative breasts.’
    • ‘Remember, while fake tans are safer than suntans or solarium tans, it is important to be aware that self-tanning lotions offer little or no protection from UV radiation.’
    • ‘Both girls had over-the-top suntans, scruffy blonde hair, and very long legs in extremely tight jeans.’
    • ‘That muscles have become status symbols signifies that most jobs now no longer call upon physical strength; like suntans, muscles have become an aesthetic of the obsolete.’
    • ‘Beach holidays became increasingly popular; white women valued their suntans as evidence of leisure and style.’
    • ‘And we associate suntans with being healthy because people are outside.’
    • ‘When Coco Chanel started the craze for suntans in the 1920s, only those who could afford to head for warmer shores were able to indulge in the new fashion.’
    • ‘Spare a thought for the teachers who returned this week to the chalkface, their Mediterranean suntans fading as fast as the memories of the seven weeks' holiday.’
    • ‘That would be the equivalent of wanting to sell empty seats on an airplane headed for Alaska to folks who want to get a suntan.’
    • ‘The ozone layer high in Earth's atmosphere absorbs much of the UV radiation from the sun, but that which reaches the surface can cause suntans and sunburns.’
    • ‘Their bleached blonde hair is slightly lighter than their fake suntans.’
    • ‘Sunburns and suntans are signs that your skin has been damaged.’
    • ‘You can always tell you're in a football environment because all the women have very long, very straight blonde hair and impossible suntans while the men are all jowly and laugh too loudly.’
    • ‘Biologically, suntans - and dark-pigmented skin in general - tell another, more objective story: that human beings have an ambivalent evolutionary relationship with the sun.’


[with object]usually as adjective suntanned
  • Expose to the sun in order to achieve a brown color.

    ‘a suntanned face’
    • ‘To get just the right color of salmon pink for the exterior walls, she had the painters match the hue of her suntanned forehead.’
    • ‘This is usually done for suntanning but also works for heat loss.’
    • ‘Thus, patients should be taught basic ‘safe sun’ measures: sun avoidance during peak ultraviolet-B hours; proper use of sunscreen and protective clothing; and avoidance of suntanning.’
    • ‘His suntanned face was lined with age, but his deep-set gray eyes were clear and alert.’
    • ‘I even managed to take my top off and get in about an hour's suntanning.’
    • ‘All the operatives in the room froze, several with tiny guns or knives in hand, as the lean, darkly suntanned man strode into their midst.’
    • ‘Her skin was suntanned to a glowing golden colour, and her clothes were from the best clothing store in Hollywood.’
    • ‘The camera floats into the air to reveal they are on a tropical island and the others are further up the beach, suntanning or playing volleyball.’
    • ‘I arrived at the audition looking healthy and suntanned and was sent to put on a wig and uniform.’
    • ‘I lifted one of her suntanned arms and scrubbed with the soap.’
    • ‘Today, he is well on his way towards a masters in suntanning.’
    • ‘I tilted my head backward from its position on his shoulder and looked upward at his strong suntanned face and intoxicating blue eyes.’
    • ‘The hand looked as though it had once been suntanned, but after years of confinement, had paled.’
    • ‘The man who faced her looked to be middle-aged, with dark, swept back hair and suntanned skin, with brown eyes set under black brows.’
    • ‘The artichoke was plump and juicy, served with bright red tomatoes that looked more suntanned than sun-dried.’
    • ‘Shielding the bright sun from her eyes with a suntanned hand and grinning widely, she opened her arms and the girl leapt gleefully into them.’
    • ‘His shoulder length sandy blonde hair was tied back as to not obscure his suntanned face, but a few wayward strands had escaped and trailed along his stubbled cheek.’
    • ‘More than 1 million milder forms of skin cancer will occur, and these are the ones tied to chronic or prolonged suntanning.’
    swarthy, sallow, olive, dusky, black, ebony
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