Adjective "tartan" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


A woollen cloth woven in one of several patterns of coloured checks and intersecting lines, especially of a design associated with a particular Scottish clan.
  1. as modifier 'a tartan shortbread tin'
  2. 'The revival of the house of Burberry is having an impact too as checks and colourful tartans abound on trousers and skirts.'
  3. 'If designing a new tartan will save the Scottish Socialist party from dying out completely, I'm willing to have a go.'
  4. 'The dominant symbols of Scottish nationalism - the war-pipes, the military tartans, the Glengarry and so on - are a product of that.'
  5. 'Symbols that evoke the past of the Highlands include the system of clan tartans and bagpipes.'
  6. 'Clans, tartans, and Highlands, with the help of the Queen herself, had become utterly British and quite fashionable.'
  7. 'The hills were awash with frost and snow and yet nobody dared wear anything but the clan tartan.'
  8. 'The company directors of Beartas designed a new tartan, woven in Harris Tweed and called the ‘Isle of Harris Tartan’.'
  9. 'This involves designing and manufacturing tartans for firms including ScottishPower, IF and Barbour.'
  10. 'The band has worked hard raising funds for the tartan which cost around £1,000 to design and £300 to kit out each band member.'
  11. 'The whole point of a tartan is to get many colours working together, weaving themselves into a beautiful pattern.'


Used allusively in reference to Scotland or the Scots.
  1. 'For those who know Mackenzie primarily as the author of whimsical tartan entertainments such as Whisky Galore, this bitter book comes as something of a revelation.'
  2. 'He would love to think that his part, however small, in Liverpool's restoration under Houllier has stoked the embers of the club's tartan tradition.'
  3. 'The first is a negative tartan tax to incentivise business location in Scotland.'
  4. 'This afternoon she will lead the nearest thing Scotland has had to a serious tartan assault on a Classic in living memory.'
  5. 'Davis believes Holyrood should use the tartan tax to cut income tax by 3%, even if that means Scots got a better deal than the English.'
  6. 'To date, yes: we've peddled tartan schlock in the form of hokum Burns Night suppers to generations of tourists so we can't blame them for finding novelty in the trappings of the occasion.'
  7. 'Alba may be Gaelic for Scotland, but when it comes to the Glasgow-based insurance company, it should be anything but a source of tartan pride.'
  8. 'In Scotland the red ribbon is tartan thanks to a campaign by the country's leading HIV / AIDS charity, Waverley Care.'
  9. 'As the name would suggest, the outstanding All Black, No 8 Scott Robertson, includes some tartan genes, courtesy of a Perthshire-born grandfather.'
  10. 'The sight of Andy Henderson standing on the wing still causes a cold sweat in tartan supporters, though at least Chris Cusiter's test debut proved memorable for the right reasons.'


A lateen-rigged, single-masted ship used in the Mediterranean.


    1. a woolen or worsted cloth woven with stripes of different colors and widths crossing at right angles, worn chiefly by the Scottish Highlanders, each clan having its own distinctive plaid.

    2. a design of such a plaid known by the name of the clan wearing it.

    3. any plaid. adjective

    4. of, relating to, or resembling tartan.

    5. made of tartan.

    More examples(as adjective)

    "coats can be tartan."

    "armies can be tartan."

    "taxes can be tartan."

    "suits can be tartan."

    "shoes can be tartan."

    More examples++


    Early 17th century: from French tartane, from Italian tartana, perhaps from Arabic ṭarīda.