I. adjective (tawnier; -est) Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French tané, tauné, literally, tanned, from past participle of tanner to tan Date: 14th century 1. of the color tawny 2. of a warm sandy color like that of well-tanned skin <the lion's tawny coat> • tawninessnounII. noun (pluraltawnies) Date: 15th century a brownish-orange to light brown color
adj. (tawnier, tawniest) of an orange- or yellow-brown colour. Phrases and idioms: tawny eagle a brownish African or Asian eagle, Aquila rapax. tawny owl a reddish-brown European owl, Strix aluco. Derivatives: tawniness n. Etymology: ME f. AF tauné, OF tané f. tan TAN(1)
Tawny Taw"ny, a. [Compar. Tawnier; superl. Tawniest.] [F. tann['e], p. p. of tanner to tan. See Tan, v. t. & n. Cf. Tenn['e].] Of a dull yellowish brown color, like things tanned, or persons who are sunburnt; as, tawny Moor or Spaniard; the tawny lion. ``A leopard's tawny and spotted hide.'' --Longfellow.