Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th 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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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.

from The 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.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • 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

Etymologies

Obsolete French, from Old French, from Old Spanish roano, probably of Germanic origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • The diadem perched on coils of hair, trapped between gold and red, the color of the horses they call roan.

    THE DIAMOND

  • 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 Hermit of Eyton Forest

  • 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.

    Where the Strange Trails Go Down Sulu, Borneo, Celebes, Bali, Java, Sumatra, Straits Settlements, Malay States, Siam, Cambodia, Annam, Cochin-China

  • Now the roan was a natural coward, with a sneer for some and a smirk for others.

    Richard Carvel — Volume 04

  • In the end "Jack," as Harold called the roan, walked up to his master and rubbed his nose against his shoulder.

    The Eagle's Heart

  • 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.

    Complete Project Gutenberg John Galsworthy Works

  • "Not but what the roan was a better trotter than yours."

    Middlemarch

  • It is particularly encouraging to see substantial numbers of previously endangered species such as roan and sable antelope listed on today's auction catalogue.

    Index

  • 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.

    The Message

  • 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.

    Thoroughbred News | BloodHorse.com

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