American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Having a chestnut, bay, or sorrel coat thickly sprinkled with white or gray: a roan horse.
- n. The characteristic coloring of a roan horse.
- n. A roan horse or other animal.
- n. A soft flexible sheepskin leather, often treated to resemble morocco and used in bookbinding.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Of a bay, sorrel, or chestnut color, with gray or white hairs more or less thickly interspersed: said chiefly of horses. A bright-red mixture is called strawberry-roan or red-roan.
- n. An animal, especially a horse, of a roan color.
- n. A roan color; the color of a roan horse.
- n. A soft and flexible sheepskin, largely used by bookbinders, and often made in imitation of morocco.
- n. Same as rowan.
- n. A clump of whins.
- adj. especially of a horse, having a coat of a dark base color with individual white hairs mixed in
- n. An animal such as a horse that has a coat of a dark base color with individual white hairs mixed in.
- n. The color of such an animal.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Having a bay, chestnut, brown, or black color, with gray or white thickly interspersed; -- said of a horse.
- adj. Made of the leather called roan.
- n. The color of a roan horse; a roan color.
- n. A roan horse.
- n. A kind of leather used for slippers, bookbinding, etc., made from sheepskin, tanned with sumac and colored to imitate ungrained morocco.
- adj. (used of especially horses) having a brownish coat thickly sprinkled with white or grey
- n. a horse having a brownish coat thickly sprinkled with white or gray
- n. a soft sheepskin leather that is colored and finished to resemble morocco; used in bookbinding
- Obsolete French, from Old French, from Old Spanish roano, probably of Germanic origin. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The diadem perched on coils of hair, trapped between gold and red, the color of the horses they call roan.”
“That was understandable enough in a lover of good horseflesh, for the roan was a handsome animal and clearly from stock of excellent quality.”
“The third, had it been a horse, might have been described as a roan, the whole body being a pale reddish-brown, with a sprinkling of real white hairs on the back.”
“Now the roan was a natural coward, with a sneer for some and a smirk for others.”
“In the end "Jack," as Harold called the roan, walked up to his master and rubbed his nose against his shoulder.”
“He did not drive with them -- he had thought they would be too crowded -- but followed, keeping quite close in the dust to point out the scenery, mounted on a 'palfrey,' as her husband called the roan with the black swish tail.”
“Not but what the roan was a better trotter than yours.”
“It is particularly encouraging to see substantial numbers of previously endangered species such as roan and sable antelope listed on today's auction catalogue.”
“Essex flats to the only part of East Anglia with which I was familiar, and gave me a vision of burning farmhouses, and terror-smitten country-folk fleeing blindly before a hail of bullets, and the pitiless advance of legions of fair-haired men in long coats of a kind of roan-gray, buttoned across the chest with bright buttons arranged to suggest the inward curve to an imaginary waist-line.”
“Goodpaster actually had two white foals at Patchen Wilkes Farm that spring, but he was able to get War Colors registered as a "roan" (a color then permitted) thanks to colored hairs scattered in the colt's coat.”
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