- tawney (obsolete)
From Middle English tawne, from Anglo-Norman tawné, from Old French tané (“tanned”), past participle of taner (“to tan”), from Medieval Latin tannāre (“to tan, dye a tawny color”), from Late Latin tannum (“crushed oak bark used in tanning leather”)—whence cf. Old French tan (“tanbark”). Probably from a Celtic source, perhaps via Gaulish tanno (“holm oak”), from Proto-Celtic *tanno- (“green oak”), of uncertain further origin. Compare Breton tann, Old Irish caerthann (“rowan”).
- Of a light brown to brownish orange color.
- Synonym: fulvous
- 1865, Henry David Thoreau, Cape Cod, Chapter I. "The Shipwreck", page 14:
- There were the tawny rocks, like lions couchant, defying the ocean, whose waves incessantly dashed against and scoured them with vast quantities of gravel.
- 1906 August, Alfred Noyes, “The Highwayman”, in Poems, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., published October 1906, OCLC 28569419, part 2, stanza I, pages 48–49:
- He did not come in the dawning; he did not come at noon; / And out o' the tawny sunset, before the rise o' the moon, / When the road was a gypsy's ribbon, looping the purple moor, / A red-coat troop came marching— / Marching—marching— / King George's men came marching, up to the old inn-door.
tawny (plural tawnies)
- (color) A light brown to brownish orange colour.
- A sweet, fortified wine which is blended and matured in wood.
- tawny at OneLook Dictionary Search.
- “tawny” in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911, page 6201.
- “tawny” in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
- Douglas Harper (2001–2022), “tawny”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.